The NBA is returning its All-Star Game to North Carolina this weekend, marking the conclusion to its caving on an LGBTQ issue it once championed.
You may remember that when North Carolina state legislators passed the anti-LGBTQ HB2, and it was signed by the governor, the NBA pulled its All-Star Game out of Charlotte and awarded it to New Orleans. When Roy Cooper was elected governor, he patched together a “fix” that was anything but a repeal, mandating discrimination against the LGBTQ community until at least 2021 and continuing to put transgender people in a predicament when using public facilities.
Yet the NBA went racing back to North Carolina, and the league will host its All-Star Game there this weekend.
As I wrote a couple years ago: The list of LGBT community leaders and organizations opposing this move includes... ALL OF THEM.
The move reflects what we’ve complained about over and over, that leagues and teams like to wave rainbow flags and sell tickets, but they are not actually committed to advancing equality. That the league turned its back on the LGBTQ community so clearly and quickly reflects that lack of real commitment.
The league has dozens of other locations it could have considered for the All-Star Game. Yet Adam Silver and the rest of the league just couldn’t wait to reward Charlotte and North Carolina despite codified mandated anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
Yes, the league has done a lot of rainbow-flag-waving over the last couple of years, marching in New York’s pride march, hosting Pride Nights and other efforts. Yet seeing the All-Star Game in Charlotte this weekend is a real slap in the face of the entire LGBTQ community.