Target: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver
Goal: Move the 2017 NBA All-Star Game out of North Carolina.
The 2017 National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game is scheduled to be played in Charlotte, North Carolina. However, the recent passage of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law — the “bathroom bill” — has cast some doubt as to whether the NBA will keep it’s 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte, or move it somewhere else.
The NBA has already stated they are concerned about North Carolina’s law, which blocks cities and local governments from adopting anti-discrimination measures that protect gay and transgender people in the state. The NBA has stated that the law “runs counter to [their] guiding principles of equality and mutual respect.” The bill has also drawn ire from many personalities both within and associated with the league.
Former NBA player Charles Barkley, who is currently an analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA, provided commentary on the issue during a recent interview with CNN, stating:
“I think the NBA should move the All-Star game from there next year. As a black person, I’m against any form of discrimination — against whites, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, however you want to phrase it. It’s my job, with the position of power that I’m in and being able to be on television, I’m supposed to stand up for the people who can’t stand up for themselves. So, I think the NBA should move the All-Star game from Charlotte.”
Steve Pagliuca, co-owner of the NBA’s Boston Celtics franchise, said that he believed it was “appropriate” for the NBA to look into the question of whether or not to move the 2017 All-Star Game to another location.
North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law has already been the source of a large degree of corporate backlash, including the loss of jobs due to PayPal’s cancellation of expansion plans to Charlotte. More than 100 companies, including Starbucks, IBM, Apple, and Dow Chemical, have voiced their opposition to the law. The NCAA has hinted that the law might prompt the organization to stop holding March Madness games in North Carolina, a bold move against a state that is crazy for basketball and houses parquet powerhouses like the North Carolina Tar Heels, North Carolina State Wolfpack, and the Duke Blue Devils.
North Carolina’s law is discriminatory and harmful to the LGBT community. It is also prompting considerable backlash. An effective means of protesting the law would be to relocate major events that would draw money and prestige to the state and the NBA can do that by moving its 2017 All-Star Game elsewhere.
Dear Commissioner Silver,
North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law is a blight on equality and defies the “guiding principles of equality and mutual respect” held by the National Basketball Association. The bill is causing considerable backlash from businesses, the media, and North Carolinians, but the state government appears to be unfazed by it.
It is with this in mind we urge you to relocate the 2017 NBA All-Star Game to a state that does not have a law marginalizing an entire group of people based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. It appears that only through action will the government of North Carolina understand the gravity of their decision to oppress LGBT Americans.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Keith Allison