The NBA Needs to Move the 2017 All-Star Game From Charlotte. Now.
Commissioner Adam Silver has a chance to lead on challenging an ugly piece of discriminatory legislation. Judging by his own words, it’s past time for him to do so.
The NBA Needs to Move the 2017 All-Star Game From Charlotte. Now.
By  Dave Zirin / thenation.com

 When Jason Collins became the first openly gay player in the NBA, league commissioner Adam Silver said the following:

I have mixed feelings, because I’m enormously proud that the first openly gay player is playing in the NBA. On the other hand, this is so long overdue that I don’t think this should necessarily be on the list of the greatest accomplishments of the NBA. This is an area where no one in sports should be too proud. Sports has led society in so many critical areas.… this is one where we fell behind.

Given how often professional sports breaks its own arm patting itself on the back for being an engine of social progress, Silver’s words were very welcome. Now he has a chance to actually lead—and he needs to do it as soon as possible.

The 2017 NBA All-Star Game is due to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Silver should announce as soon as possible that this game needs to be moved unless the state legislature overturns its new law set to go in effect April 1 “blocking local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules to grant protections to gay and transgender people.”

The law also bans students from using restrooms that correlate with their gender identity if it is not what is listed on their birth certificate. “Legislators have gone out of their way to stigmatize and marginalize transgender North Carolinians by pushing ugly and fundamentally untrue stereotypes that are based on fear and ignorance and not supported by the experiences of more than 200 cities with these protections,” Sarah Preston, acting executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, said in a statement.

This law empowers businesses across the state to put signs in their windows saying that they reserve the right to deny service to anyone whom they perceive to be part of the LGBT community. Think about that for a second: The law empowers right-wing small-business owners to legally discriminate based on their own “gaydar.”

Under the shadow of this legislation, the NBA really only has one recourse: It needs to move the 2017 All-Star Game and show the world that it is not going to “fall behind” on what is a very elemental issue of human rights and dignity. The NBA Players Association, led by the estimable Michele Roberts, should also call for Adam Silver to take this step.

When the All-Star game was awarded to Charlotte, Mayor Dan Clodfelter, standing next to Governor McCrory, said, “This is an incredible opportunity to showcase Charlotte internationally as a city that excels as host to a variety of large-scale sports, entertainment, and arts events.” Instead, unless the All Star-Game is moved, it will showcase Charlotte as a center of bigotry imposed tyrannically by the state capitol in Raleigh.

It is worth remembering another comment from Commissioner Silver when Jason Collins made history. Speaking to Bleacher Report, he said, “I think we all have to be a little cautious about congratulating ourselves, because it’s also long overdue.” Also “long overdue” is the NBA as a corporation actually taking a lead on LGBT issues and not waiting for its players and employees to take all the risks while they reap the PR rewards.

UPDATE: Upon an even deeper dive into the North Carolina legislation, it is worse—and far more extensive—than I described.

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 21,521 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 6,494 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure
Daniel Quinn · 2,377 views today · PART ONE A fable to start with Once upon a time life evolved on a certain planet, bringing forth many different social organizations—packs, pods, flocks, troops, herds, and...
You Should Get Naked More Often. It's Good for You.
Joni Sweet · 1,063 views today · When Nelly encouraged overheated people worldwide to get naked in 2002, he was unknowingly advocating much more than just a sexy, sweaty dance party. Sunbathing, sleeping...
Lawns Are for Suckers. Plant a Garden - for the Climate!
Nathanael Johnson · 990 views today · Ripping out your lawn and planting kale and peppers won’t just lead to great stir-fry — a new study finds it could make major contributions to fighting climate change...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 984 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 747 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 686 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
Gabor Maté: Why Our Culture Makes So Many Of Us Unhappy
3 min · 686 views today · Dr. Gabor Maté explains why it is that our culture makes so many of us unhappy, unkind to one another, miserable, alienated from ourselves, etc. Watch the full interview in Part 2.
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 653 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 635 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
How Native Americans Managed "Wild" Land Long Before Settlers
Sami Grover · 627 views today · When European settlers first came to North America, they assumed they were looking at "untouched" nature. Sure, there were native peoples, but history tells us they didn't...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 614 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Solidarity Is About What You Do - Not Who You Are.
R.L. Stephens · 553 views today · I am Black. I capitalize Black and leave white lowercased. Sure, it’s the accepted spelling, but really I do it because it feels good. My family lived in Missouri, but my...
A New Story for Humanity (2016)
102 min · 519 views today · Inspired by the New Story Summit at the Findhorn Foundation: a sold-out multicultural, multigenerational inquiry into a new story for humanity, attended by change makers and...
Masculinity Is Killing Men: The Roots of Men and Trauma
Kali Holloway · 449 views today · We begin the damaging process of turning boys into men long before boyhood ends.
Bitter Lake (2015)
136 min · 431 views today · Adam Curtis: Politicians used to have the confidence to tell us stories that made sense of the chaos of world events. But now there are no big stories and politicians react...
Bioregional Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Place in Which You Live?
Rua Lupa · 416 views today · In the vast emptiness of space there are an unimaginable number of galaxies, each galaxy containing billions upon billions of stars. Looking at one galaxy we find an average...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 415 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Why You Should Take Your Kids Out of School
Ben Hewitt · 412 views today · We don't need no education. At least not of the traditional, compulsory, watch-the-clock-until-the-bell-rings kind. As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
The NBA Needs to Move the 2017 All-Star Game From Charlotte. Now.