What do Bruce Springsteen, 13 conventions, and the 2017 NBA All-Star Game have in common? None of them will be hosted in North Carolina as long as the state's infamous "bathroom law" is still on the books.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced yesterday that it will not host next year's All-Star Game in Charlotte, North Carolina, citing its opposition to HB 2. The bill, passed earlier this year, prohibits transgender individuals from using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.
"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," the league said in a statement. It went on to say that it would consider bringing the All-Star Game back to Charlotte in 2019 if "there is an appropriate resolution to this matter."
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory was, to put it lightly, not pleased. After releasing his own statement condemning the "sports and entertainment elite, Attorney General Roy Cooper and the liberal media" for the move, Governor McCrory allegedly lashed out at Representative Chris Sgro, the only gay member of the North Carolina General Assembly.
Governor McCrory's sports woes may not be over. Earlier today, the NCAA released a statement instructing host-city hopefuls to submit details about "any local anti-discrimination laws, provisions for refusal of services and other facility-specific information" in accordance with the Board of Governors' April announcement that future sporting championships may only be held in a safe and dignified environment for all. While HB 2 is in effect, that leaves North Carolina out of the running.
One of the traits people typically look for in athletes is good sportsmanship, a quality that Governor McCrory sorely lacks. It's not good sportsmanship attack your fellow elected officials. It's not good sportsmanship to blame others for the consequences of your actions. And it's certainly not good sportsmanship to undermine the safety and dignity of the North Carolina LGBT community. Maybe the events of this week will show the governor that respect is key, on and off the court.