"I think that war is wrong in 99.9 percent of all cases. I think [Operation Iraqi Freedom] has much more to do with oil or some sort of distraction, because I don't feel as though we should be worrying about Iraq."-- Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns Guard and 2005 NBA MVP
"I think that Saddam Hussein is a crazy dictator but I don't think he's threatening us at this point in time. We haven't found any nuclear weapons -- no matter what anyone says -- and that process is still under way. Until that's finished and decided I don't think that war is acceptable."
"Unfortunately, this is more about oil than it is about nuclear weapons."
"I think a lot of what we hear in the news is misleading and flat-out false, so I think it's important for us to think deeper and find out what is really going on."
Steve Nash had the courage to speak out against the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq long before doing so had been made somewhat fashionable by artists, activists, politicians and bloggers. At the 2003 NBA All-Star game he wore a t-shirt "that read, 'Shoot baskets not people.'" (Or did it read 'No War. Shoot for Peace'?)
One might think it easy for someone in Nash's position to be politically outspoken, but the opposite is more true. In fact, after Nash caused the t-shirt controversy in 2003, his boss, Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban, wore a shirt that was "red instead of Mavericks blue and bearing the flag-themed message: 'United We Stand.'" One can only speculate as to whether Nash's political views had any bearing on his negotiations with Cuban last summer. Last night, Nash's Suns faced off against Cuban's Mavericks.
Steve Nash, going against the team he left after six seasons when Mavericks owner Mark Cuban refused to come close to the five-year, $65 million he got from the Suns, was presented the league's most valuable player trophy by NBA commissioner David Stern before the game, holding it high above his head for the cheering crowd.
[Update--5/21: After scoring 39 points and leading the Phoenix Suns to a dramatic win in game six to close out the series against Dallas, Nash "thanked the Mavs and their fans for six wonderful years, although he didn't mention team owner Mark Cuban, who came up several years and more than $20 million shy of Phoenix in his last contract offer."]