The decision was announced a few hours ago by the NBA: The 2017 All Star Game will NOT be in Charlotte next year due to North Carolina’s new anti-LGBTQ law. The timing for this announcement–during the Republican National Convention–is no coincidence. The NBA coould’ve decided to wait until next week during the Democratic National Convention or the week after to announce this but they chose now. The NBA is looking at Indiana or New Orleans to host the All Star game instead while Charlotte could host the All Star Game in 2019–Assuming North Carolina gets rid of its new anti-LGBTBQ law.
For those who haven’t been keeping up with the news, North Carlina’s new HB2 law specifically states all (Transgender) Persons must use the public bathrooms of the gender they were born with. This invasive bill doesn’t just effect those who identify as the gender opposite the one they were born with but those who are either Binary (don’t Identify as male or female) and children/teens who had gender reassignment surgery after birth due to ambiguous genitalia. These are the ones who will suffer the most under HB2. While most states are enacting pro-LGBTQ legislation, some are moving to enact laws similar to North Carolina’s. I would be very surprised if today’s announcement from the NBA isn’t mentioned at the RNC today or tomorrow.
Anyways intended or not, the NBA’s decision to pull out of Charlotte has ramifications that could effect both the Hornets remaining in the city of Charlotte at least in the short term. This also puts pressure on the NFL and the NHL teams that are also in North Carolina–The NFL’s Carolina Panthers and the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes–to chime in as well. I think the latter should be expected sooner or later. No question the NBA has at least discussed the possability of the team being temporarily relocated with the team’s owner, Michael Jordan. Yes, THAT Michael Jordan.
And now, the other big basketball-related news of the day: As I mentioned before, WNBA players have started to wear the above T-Shirt or a black jumpshoot during their pregame warmup routines. They were wearing the colors to show their support for the recent protests on police-involved shootings and bring attention to the need for dialogue on the subject. Earlier this week, the WNBA fined the Phoenix Mercury, New York Liberty and the Indiana Fever were fined $5,000 each. In addition, individual players from the three teams as well as the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks were also fined $500 each for wearing the black t-shirts.
In response to the fines, WNBA players have started a media blackout in defiance of the fines. They are refusing to talk to the media at all unless it is about the recent shootings until the WNBA reverses its decision to punish players for using their platform for speaking out. Carmello Anthony released a statement yesterday condemning the WNBA’s decision to fine its players and teams.
It is worth noting no such action has ever been taken against him, Lebron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade or any other NBA players for doing the same and more. The WNBA will be pressured to reverse the fines real quick given today’s big announcement fromt the NBA and they will. It’s just a matter of time.
…If anything interesting happens with either situation, I will update this post to reflect the new info.