According to the July 2021 Census, over half of San Antonio’s population identifies as “Hispanic or Latino”. For the last 50 years, the San Antonio Spurs organization has taken the liberty to celebrate the cultural traditions associated with this community.
Through the in-person game experience and team apparel, the Spurs organization always honors the city in which they play the game of basketball. Perhaps part of the reason why the team’s head coach Gregg Popovich recently exclaimed, “I live in a country I did not know exists” when referring to the racial injustice faced in America, is because he is part of an organization so vibrant with love for cultural diversity.
The New Spurs Jersey Makes a “Statement”
This season, the Spurs found another creative way to pay homage to the Hispanic community on game-days. Cascading down the sides of the new “Statement” jerseys will be silver and white textile-like patterns. The pattern favors the hand-woven designs that originated in Mexico during the colonial era, found in traditional Mexican serapes and saddle blankets.
Hints of cultural expression gliding across a Spurs jersey are nothing new. Just last year, the Spurs unveiled “City Edition” jerseys that featured colors associated with San Antonio’s “Fiesta” celebration. During Fiesta, the city joins together in bright colors to honor the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. Now fans have some Spurs gear they can wear while at the Battle of the Flowers parade.
If you think it can’t get any better, look out for yet another new City Edition jerseys to be revealed this year. It will conclude the collection of the five Spurs uniforms to be worn during the 2022-2023 season. The other three include the “White Association”, “Black Icon”, and the “Classic Edition” versions for some nostalgia.
One City, Many Cultures
The cultural celebration doesn’t end with just the jersey. Each fall during Hispanic Heritage Month, the team pays recognition to this community in the arena during the game. On this night, they acknowledge Hispanic and Latino locals who are devoted to the betterment of the city and the preservation of the culture. They also highlight Hispanic performers and artists throughout the entire in-game experience.
While this culture saturates the city throughout the year, it is one of many. The Spurs recognize other communities within the city during the season as well. For example, during Black History Month, African American culture is saluted and memorialized on Black Heritage Night.
What is so unique about the Spurs is you don’t have to be a basketball fanatic to appreciate the team. You don’t have to be Hispanic to enjoy Fiesta or Hispanic Heritage Night. You don’t have to be Black to stand in solidarity with the athletes and fellow fans. “Spurs” on your jersey make you a part of the local community. Going to the games is a part of San Antonio culture. The organization does a great job of creating an inclusive experience, and staying true to their homeland and identity. This season, snag some tickets and join the party as the team celebrates 50 years of “Doing for the Culture”.