NBA withdraws 2017 All-Star Game from North Carolina

July 22, 2016

One thing is clear about Adam Silver, the NBA's new commissioner, when it comes to running his league, he is a man of action who conducts his business with intelligence and progressive principles.

Silver started off on the job by ousting one of the NBA's cancers -- bigoted Clippers owner Donald Sterling -- and now he has pulled the 2017 NBA All-Star Game out of the state of North Carolina in response to one of its discriminatory laws.

The NBA issued the following statement regarding the 2017 NBA All-Star Game:

“The NBA has decided to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte with the hope of rescheduling for 2019.
“Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change.  We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league.  These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.
“Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community – current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans.  While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.
“We are particularly mindful of the impact of this decision on our fans in North Carolina, who are among the most passionate in our league.  It is also important to stress that the City of Charlotte and the Hornets organization have sought to provide an inclusive environment and that the Hornets will continue to ensure that all patrons – including members of the LGBT community – feel welcome while attending games and events in their arena.
“We look forward to re-starting plans for our All-Star festivities in Charlotte for 2019 provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter.
“The NBA will make an announcement on the new location of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in the coming weeks.”

Make no mistake, this move will hit Charlotte where it hurts -- in the pocketbook.

NBA All-Star festivities bring millions of dollars into the respective host cities each year, not only at the official league events, but even more so off-the-court.  From hotels to restaurants to nightclubs, All-Star week brings fans from all over the nation ready to party and spend money.  The financial loss to North Carolina will be significant.

At a time when the various sports leagues do the bidding of their corporate sponsors and rarely take a stance on anything of political significance, Silver is taking the lead and refusing to sell out, despite not even having a backup city officially in place.  He may not be able to singlehandedly pull the South into the modern world, but he should get credit for not allowing the NBA to look the other way and be tainted by such bigotry.

NBA Board of Governors Chairman and Timberwolves majority owner Glen Taylor also issued a statement regarding the NBA’s decision to relocate the 2017 NBA All-Star Game:

“We fully support the NBA’s decision today to relocate the 2017 NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte. While it is important to note that the league continues its dialogue with Charlotte, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx stand firm with the NBA to uphold our values of inclusivity which has made our league so successful on a global stage.”

Kudos for Silver for having the guts to stand up for his principles, and for having his heart in the right place -- on the side of inclusion and tolerance.

By Staff of and news services

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...