Friday, July 22, 2016

Lunch Break (7/22/16): Leaders, organizations respond to All Star Game cancellation

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 11:39 AM

The NBA and commissioner Adam Silver made good on their threats to cancel the NBA All Star Game scheduled for February 2017 in Charlotte due to the discriminatory nature of House Bill 2, passed into law during a special session of the North Carolina legislature earlier this year.

Almost immediately, people and organizations began releasing statements praising or decrying the decision. We've collected a few of these statements to see what folks around the state ahd around the country had to say about it. 

The following is an excerpt from the NBA's statement announcing the relocation of the All Star Game: 

"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."

Gov. Pat McCrory (surprise) refused to take any accountability for the woeful impact of House Bill 2 yet again and instead blamed the liberal media, among others. His statement read: 

""The sports and entertainment elite, Attorney General Roy Cooper and the liberal media have for months misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina simply because most people believe boys and girls should be able to use school bathrooms, locker rooms and showers without the opposite sex present. Twenty-one other states have joined North Carolina to challenge the federal overreach by the Obama administration mandating their bathroom policies in all businesses and schools instead of allowing accommodations for unique circumstances. Left-wing special interest groups have no moral authority to try and intimidate the large majority of American parents who agree in common-sense bathroom and shower privacy for our children."

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts referenced Silver's implication that Charlotte could still host the All Star Game in 2019 if House Bill 2 is repealed or overturned in court:

"I am deeply disappointed that the discriminatory actions reflected in HB2 have caused the NBA to move the All-Star Game from Charlotte. All-Star weekend would have provided an excellent opportunity to further showcase our great and welcoming city. Charlotte has show its commitment to equal rights and inclusion will continue to promote those values. 
"I am encouraged that Charlotte has the opportunity to host the game in 2019 of changes to HB2 are made and I encourage the state to take action as soon as possible. I appreciate the NBA and our Charlotte Hornets being such strong champions of equality." 

Speaking of the Hornets, owner Michael Jordan released a statement in support of the decision while also hoping to see the All Star Game come to Charlotte in 2019: 

"We understand the NBA's decision and the challenges around holding the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte this season. There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so. With that said, we are pleased that the NBA opened the door for Charlotte to host All-Star Weekend again as soon as an opportunity was available in 2019. We want to thank the City of Charlotte and the business community for their backing throughout this entire process, starting with the initial bid. We are confident that they will be just as supportive and enthusiastic for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game."

Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress NC Action, released a statement focusing on the negative economic impact that HB2 has had and continues to have on the state of North Carolina: 

“Today’s news is further evidence that HB2 is an economic disaster for North Carolina. Over $100 million in economic activity is leaving our state because of Gov. McCrory’s discriminatory law, on top of the hundreds of jobs and millions in tourism dollars that our state has already lost over HB2. But instead of admitting his mistake, the governor is busy raiding our disaster relief fund to defend this man-made disaster of a law in court. It’s time for Gov. McCrory to accept reality and call for a full repeal of HB2 before any more damage is done to our economy.”

This morning Roy Cooper, current North Carolina attorney general and gubernatorial candidate who was blamed by Gov. McCrory for the NBA's decision, despite having nothing to do with the law that truly did cause the decision, responded to McCrory's morning appearance on WFAE's Charlotte Takes in which he called the decision "total P.C. B.S." in a statement from his spokesperson:  

"While the economic consequences of HB 2 grow, Governor McCrory continues to pass the blame onto others while refusing to take any action to stop the bleeding. Make no mistake, the NBA’s decision to pull the All-Star Game is a damaging blow to our economy and our reputation, and Governor McCrory should stop pointing fingers and take responsibility. It’s time for Governor McCrory to listen to the many North Carolinians who oppose this legislation and repeal HB 2." 

A new location for the 2017 NBA All Star Game has not yet been announced, but it's been widely reported that New Orleans is the front-runner. In a not-so-subtle reminder to Silver that they'd be happy to host, the New Orleans Pelicans also released a statement yesterday: 

"The New Orleans Pelicans fully support the NBA's decision to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game form Charlotte, North Carolina, as a result of the state's rejection to rescind HB2. We're proud to represent a league which upholds the highest standards of humankind. The Pelicans stand alongside Commissioner Silver and the NBA family in support of the LGBT community." 

And then, there's this: 

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