Johnson, who made his name in the NBA as a member of the Phoenix Suns, wrote Wednesday in his blog below that he urged for economic sanctions against Arizona.
But later in the day, Johnson told The Sacramento Bee that Mayor convinced him that sanctions would hurt the battered economy in Phoenix.
Either way, here is his original blog:
I’ve never said much about this, but there was deep personal sadness when I was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Phoenix Suns in February 1988.
The trouble had no connection with basketball. I was ashamed of my new state for another reason: A year before the trade, Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham rescinded the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King.
Suddenly, I was expected to play my heart out for audiences proud to denigrate the civil rights victories won by Dr. King.
Arizona needed five years and the loss of an estimated $300 million in tourism dollars – including the removal of the 1993 Super Bowl – before voters finally gave Dr. King his day.
Today memories of those sorry days have returned.
Arizona is back at it, passing a law that allows police to demand ID from anyone who “looks” like an undocumented immigrant.
Don’t get me wrong. Our country must protect its borders. We are a nation of immigrants, and immigration must be managed with thoughtful, fair and productive protocols.
Government agencies must work diligently to respond to immigration issues. But our response must be appropriate and consistent with the fundamentals of our nation.
The Arizona law contradicts the foundation of American justice on multiple levels. Beyond the law’s discretionary bigotry, it stands as a hypocritical application of presumptive guilt, a violation of our essential Constitutional rights. Ultimately, it requires the most color-blind police officer to judge people based on their skin color.
I am proud of other California leaders, including State Senator Darrell Steinberg, in expressing outrage at Arizona’s immigration law.
Sen. Steinberg asked Gov. Schwarzenegger to void any contracts with Arizona businesses and government agencies. San Francisco is banning city workers from traveling to Arizona on business.
I applaud these moves. I fundamentally believe Sacramento should do likewise, severing any economic ties to Arizona in expression of our city’s belief that justice is not an arbitrary weapon wielded according to skin color and appearance.
I will begin the process of seeking collaboration on this issue with my colleagues at City Hall.
As a resident of Arizona during the time of the struggle to honor Dr. King, I understand how economic pressure can bring our Southwestern neighbors to their collective senses.
I still have many friends in Arizona, and know the state is not a land filled with hatred. But sometimes Arizonans need a reminder of their foolishness. If we shun them, maybe they will get it.