NEW YORK, NY (APRIL 22, 2016) — Appearing on the ESPN morning radio show Mike and Mike, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver discussed how Charlotte, NC may lose hosting honors of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game and Weekend due to the passing of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law. The law, known as HB2 or the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, was passed in late March and repealed many protections for the LGBT community.
Calling the law “problematic,” Silver stated that the All-Star Game was ten months away and that the NBA was working with North Carolina businesses, the governor and the legislature to “make it clear that it would be problematic for us to move forward with our All-Star Game if there is not a change in law.”
Later that day, Thursday, April 21, while speaking at the Associated Press Sports Editors’ commissioners meetings, Silver strengthened his comments about the 2017 All-Star Game. According to reporters at the event, Silver said, “We’ve been, I think, crystal clear a change in the law is necessary for us to play in the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event.”
In response to Silver’s words, Athlete Ally Founder & Executive Director Hudson Taylor said:
Sports championships and all-star games represent the very best athletics has to offer. The NBA has made it clear that the values of sports demand fairness and respect, and that any city or state wishing to host sports championships must reflect those values and protect and respect the LGBT community through their laws. We applaud the leadership of Commissioner Silver and the NBA, and hope other teams and leagues will follow their lead.
Expanding on Taylor’s comments, Ashland Johnson, Athlete Ally’s Director of Policy added:
The NBA recognizes that there is no room for discrimination against the LGBT community, in sports or under the law. They have made it clear that the core values of the league, and all sports, are fairness and inclusion. With an onslaught of anti-LGBT legislation in cities and states across the country, it is clear that these legislators will be held be accountable for legislative decisions that negatively impact players, coaches, and fans.
About Athlete Ally
Athlete Ally is a non-profit organization that educates and empowers the athletic community to take a stand against homophobia and transphobia in sports. Athlete Ally works with MLB, the NBA, WNBA, and NBPA on player development and LGBT inclusion. It also co-wrote the NCAA’s LGBT policies and resource guides and partners with over a hundred professional athletes and college campuses to promote LGBT equality and respect.
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