Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vs. Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver-Incorrect Attribution!

Summary of eRumor:

A commentary titled “Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vs. Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver” was supposedly written about Brewer in defense of a controversial 2010 immigration law enforcement bill.

The Truth:

The “Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vs. Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver” commentary doesn’t appear to have been written by the former Arizona governor.

The commentary started circulating in 2010 after then-Governor Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070 into law. The measure required local police officers to demand immigration papers from anyone that they had “reasonable suspicion” to believe could be in the country illegally.

The law “lost its teeth” in a 2015 lawsuit settlement, and Arizona was forced to pay $1.5 million in attorneys fees. Additionally, Brewer announced before the settlement that she wouldn’t seek re-election in 2015, and she’s since left politics.

Still, the “Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vs. Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver” commentary lives on. It’s not clear where, exactly, the commentary originated. The earliest version we could find appeared in a May 2010 New York Post article about the back-and-forth between Brewer and Sarver, an opponent of the immigration bill who changed the Suns’ uniforms to read “Los Suns” in support of Arizona’s immigrant community.

That Post report credited the commentary to “a composite” of responses from different supporters of Brewer’s Senate Bill 1070. It appears the author of the article, Phil Mushnick, may have written it himself:

That brings us to the Suns’ principal and principled owner, Robert Sarver, who, with the NBA’s approval, recently had his team wear “Los Suns” uniforms to register disapproval of Arizona’s new immigration laws.

That drew a sizable and pretty standard response from readers who picked up the scent of hollow grandstanding. Their responses created a composite that reads like this:

What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into Suns’ games without paying? What if the owners had a good idea as to who the gate-crashers are, but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn’t be ejected?

Furthermore, what if Suns ownership was expected to provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink? And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?

“Furthermore,” adds Brooklyn’s Tommy Mitchell, “what if one of those ‘fans’ gave birth? Not only couldn’t you eject them, you’d have to provide another free seat.”

By August 2010, the commentary was being attributed to Brewer in discussion forums like this one. Throughout the years, “Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vs. Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver” commentary has re-surfaced time and again. In 2013, the email appeared at WikiLeaks in a leaked email — leading some to believe that it was sent from Brewers’ email. That’s not the case. It was just another forwarded email of the commentary sent by a different government official.

Former Gov. Jan Brewer did respond to criticism from the sports world, and calls to move MLB’s All Star Game out of the state over Senate Bill 2010 in an op-ed published by ESPN in 2010 — but the tone and content is very different than the widely circulated “Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vs. Phoenix Suns Owner Robert Sarver” commentary. Given all that, we’re calling this one “incorrect attribution.”

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 03/08/2017

Arizonas reply to Suns owner
Arizona’s Governor, Jan Brewer, released the following statement in
response to Sarver’s criticism of the new law:

“What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were
sneaking into games without paying?

What if they had a good idea who the gate-crashers are, but the ushers
and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce
their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn’t be ejected.

Furthermore, what if Suns’ ownership was expected to provide those who
sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink?

And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured,
the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?”

-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer