NBA May Pull All-Star Game From Charlotte Over State’s New Anti-LGTB Law
The NBA on Thursday hit out at North Carolina for passing a recent anti-LGBT law, hinting that the move may lose them the 2017 NBA-All Star Game (statement below). The new law is already rankling sponsors, NBA and otherwise, among them Bank of America. Will North Carolina discover that there's a real price for discrimination?
The NBA banned ex-Clipper owner Donald Sterling for life after racist comments. It embraced Jason Collins when he became the first pro athlete in a major U.S. sport to come out as gay, and was the first pro league to have a female coach (Becky Hamilton of the Spurs, 2014). So it's no surprise that it would take the point on this.
North Carolina just passed a law that bars local governments from extending civil rights protections to gay and transgender citizens. Charlotte is scheduled to play host to the NBA All-Star Game in 2017, but commissioner Adam Silver is indicating that he just may pull the event from that state due to the new law. It's a veiled threat to be sure -- kind of passive-aggressive. But here's Thursday's NBA statement:
"The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events. We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte.”
Large companies have been falling over themselves denouncing the state's new law. American Airlines, Lowe’s, Apple, and Google have all issued statements criticizing it. And the NCAA, which is planning men's basketball regional games there in 2017, is "monitoring the situation."
Michael Jordan as point man on this would really send a message. But so far, Jordan has pretty much avoided political stances -- they tend to disrupt his golf. He's been criticized heavily for this, even among his friends (Charles Barkley is one).
But it's good to see the NBA at the forefront of this.
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