A revoked NBA All-Star Game reminds us that votes matter

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 23, 2015 file photo NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a news conference to announce Charlotte, N.C., as the site of the 2017 NBA All-Star basketball game. The NBA is moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte because of its objections to a North Carolina law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and an outdated sign. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

No matter what you think of North Carolina House Bill 2 — the LGBT-unfriendly one, the one requiring transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their birth sex while in buildings supported by public funds — it was a bill that became law. It wasn’t an executive order or an emperor’s decree. It was sponsored in the state legislature, passed by that legislature and signed by the governor.

It was, in sum, the will of enough duly elected representatives that it became state law. Think about that the next time you go to the polls — or decide that it’s not worth going to the polls because you’re pressed for time or because your vote just doesn’t matter. Because votes, yours and mine and those of our legislators, can and do matter.

The NBA announced Thursday night that it is pulling the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte because, the league said in a statement, “we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.”

Maybe you think this was the only choice a league that has become a leader in the fight for inclusion could have made. Maybe you think it’s a case of a high-minded outside entity trying to tell the people of North Carolina how to live. I’m not here to tell you what to believe — it’s a free country — but I am here to say: We must always think hard about whom we elect because elections have the capacity to effect change.

If you live in the Tar Heel state and you supported HB2, you should be willing to live with the repercussions. If you’re a North Carolinian and you find the law reprehensible, you should exercise your voting franchise in the attempt to get it repealed. The NBA can’t tell Carolinians how to live, but what happened Thursday was the NBA’s way of saying, “If this is how you want to live, don’t expect us to applaud.”

Yes, that’s political pressure being applied in an overt way. But politics runs on votes, and votes get counted. And not just in North Carolina. Something similar could have happened here, but Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed HB 757 in March. If he hadn’t, we might have lost the 2020 Final Four and mightn’t have landed the 2019 Super Bowl.

In announcing his decision, Deal said HB 757 — the “religious liberty” bill — did not reflect our state’s population of “warm, friendly and loving people,” saying also: “Our people work side by side without regard to the color of our skin or the religion we adhere to. We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way.”

We elect officials to do right by ourselves and our neighbors. (We stipulate that one person’s definition of “doing right” might well differ from another’s.) Deal is a Republican who vetoed a bill sponsored by Republicans because he felt it was in the best interest of Georgia.

Maybe you believe he got it wrong. There’ll be other elections coming, and you can vote accordingly. But on a day when a major sporting entity thumbed its nose at a state because of a new law, we should all remember: Somebody had to elect those lawmakers. Votes count.

Reader Comments 0

83 comments
LifeIsAPeach
LifeIsAPeach

You missed the point, as usual.  This is good law.  Allowing people to use the bathroom they FEEL like is incredibly arbitrary.  who's to say how I might feel on a particular day.  That doesn't give me the right to force my feelings on others.  You want to share bathrooms with the other biological sex.  Fine.  Do it at home.

North Georgia
North Georgia

House Bill 2 is a good common sense.  If you are a father with a daughter and have any backbone, you get it.  NC did the right thing. The citizens of NC will be better off because of HB2.   If the NBA does not like it, they can take their entertainers some where else to dribble a ball.


Adam Silver?  His main concern is profits.  Don't kid yourself.


Basketball players are entertainers...nothing more.  No different than singers, circus performers, musicians or actors.  I turned off Jane Fonda when she disrespected this country.  


I was a big NBA fan in the 1980's and 1990's but I have chosen to turn off the NBA because of the NC HB2 and national anthem issue.  They are over paid brats and media hounds.


If they could not play basketball, what would they truly be doing with their time?  Would they make a life contribution to their country or community like the working folks?  No.



Attilla
Attilla

Bradley, couldn't disagree with you more. Just wondering if you might have a teenage daughter? If so, ask her if she'd mind sharing her shower in the ladies school locker room with Michael, a ner do well male teen, who wakes up that morning & says, "I feel like being transgender today." In most states, if you bar him from entering, you're discriminating and subject to reprimand, lawsuits or arrest. 

DaltonbywayofBickley
DaltonbywayofBickley

Nate Deal is all that's standing between us and social conservative Baptria law that would be imposed by state Sen. Josh McKook and his ilk. Sad that we've put ourselves in this position.

In the spirit of acceptance and inclusion the commissioner should mandate that each NBA team have a certified transgender player on the team. The Bruce/Kaitlyn Rule, of course the player will use the same facilities as the other players. I don't foresee a problem with that.

David Hurst
David Hurst

So it IS all about the almighty dollar???  Decency, integrity and morals should always be second to George Washington's.  Personally I am proud of the people of NC for making that choice.  NO young lady should fear going into a FEMALE bathroom because there is a potential sexually confused pervert there.  MY daughter, and yours, are MUCH more valuable than that, no matter what the sick country has determined is so-called "superior thinking".  Myself, I doubt I will ever attend an NBA game again.  If they are going to defend sexual predators over our valuable children they don't deserve ONE George Washington from me. 

dirtybird33
dirtybird33

The NBA is a joke. I think the people of North Carolina will probably be able to live without having the 2017 lifeless all-star game played in their state. Adam Silver, way to go! You're a hypocrite and you look silly when you take your ball and go home. So, the NBA thinks a man should be able to use the women's restroom? Wow. Just. Wow. 

UltraElf
UltraElf

@dirtybird33 ALL NC schools should demand to use the women's locker room when they go out of state for a game. Let's see how the liberals like that. This is what happens when you cater to the 1% and piss off the other 99%. Boycott the NBA and NCAA and their sponsors. Let them cater to the 1% who won't get a sex change and want to inconvenience everyone else. Notice, all this is on OBAMA's watch.

And the comment survey says...NBA is irrelevant! 

GeneralBeauregard
GeneralBeauregard

The NBA should simply establish a new policy. When a city submits its bid for the All-Star game they shall also attach a copy of their legal code so that Adam Silver can go through it and red line all the laws that he dislikes. Why stop at just one?

@GeneralBeauregard Apparently he has approved of all of China's oppressive laws, their game is still on.

kmarcel3
kmarcel3

I'm proud of the NBA for taking a stance against intolerance.

@kmarcel3 I'm dissapointed with the NBA for not being tolerant of North Carolina voters.

UltraElf
UltraElf

@kmarcel3 how about the transgenders be TOLERANT of the Majority's right to privacy and MORALS!?

GraceD
GraceD

Excellent article. Votes do most certainly count! Voting is not only a right , it is a responsibility!

The Nov election is possibly the most important vote most of us will take. We are defining the future of our nation.

Will we be the country with the dreams & goals  that we were built on?

Or will we finally succumb to the anger, hate that conservatives have forced us to be, these last 8 yrs?

Your vote may be the deciding one. 

Please vote.

UltraElf
UltraElf

@GraceD Have you NO morals woman? The only HATE being forced upon are the looney MINORITY forcing their IMMORAL views on the rest of us. If these morons have Shania Twain syndrome,let them get a sex change. You want your daughter showering with a transgender in high school? All we need is one BUTCH wanting to shower in the men's room with a bunch of horny guys and the manure will hit the fan.

tacada
tacada

As with every action, there are consequences!!!  Good or bad.

RangeRover
RangeRover

Let some hairy-legged pervert enter the bathroom while my wife, my daughters--and even your young daughters--while I'm around and he/she/it will wish mightily he never squatted to take a XXXX near my child. 

This is nothing short of utter, unabashed perversion and it is the perversion itself that generates their arousal.

I'm damn sick and tired of you sick, degenerate, liberal parasites.

GraceD
GraceD

@RangeRover You might want to know that there are children who are born with congenital malformations-- that have been made female, surgically (as an infant) 

You would probably call them hermaphrodites. 

And some due to medical errors. 

You can look all this up, if you care enough to be informed.

DarianFisher
DarianFisher

@Deborah Oh I have educated myself and we either have male or female chromosomes when we are conceived.

dirtybird33
dirtybird33

@GraceD @RangeRover you are talking about a VERY SMALL percentage of people and you haven't represented them well. This is poor science and it almost always gets misrepresented. The problem is that we have lost our way and we have no common sense. Plus, you progressive liberals are perverted. This is ridiculous and unbelievable that you libs would put up such an angry fight over such a simple issue. Men use the men's restroom. Women us the women's restroom. Simple.

Deborah
Deborah

No it's not. Try educating yourself.

mgunter
mgunter

PCEK........ Excellent post!!!

PCEK
PCEK

Mr. Bradley, somethings matter, somethings don't. When sports and money become your god, then a silly thing like a basketball game takes on over-blown importance. Will NC shut down? Will the people of NC cease to exist? Will babies stop being born? Will the sun refuse to shine? I imagine in your universe, these things could happen due to a few million dollars of sports revenue being lost. But the people of NC have lived through a lot worse. As a NC native, I'm pretty sure the western mountains will still be as beautiful, the piedmont will still grow strong tobacco and produce excellent furniture, and the coast will still have great seafood and lovely beaches. I don't know where everyone will go to the bathroom. But I'm pretty sure everyone no matter what sexual orientation will find somewhere to be relieved. And the basketball on tobacco-row will still be the finest in the nation! Piss-off NBA! 

@PCEK Tobacco Road...but otherwise you nailed it and put it to bed!

merrie7137attnet
merrie7137attnet

@PCEK Regardless of ones opinion of this law, we should all be alarmed at businesses - particularly sports franchises and the entertainment industry - using high handed tactics such as these to bully the people of a state to change their duly passed laws. If the people of NC and GA care about this issue and their religious freedom, they would be boycotting the NBA, NFL, NASCAR etc. in repsonse.

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

The only people this will hurt are the poor, who work at the stadium, restaurants, etc in charlotte.   Way to go NBA, much more important to take care of white elite LGBTQ concerns, than the low income workers.

UltraElf
UltraElf

@dcdcdc ummm there are african LGBTQ's, thank you very little, Ogelthorpe student.

JMinATL
JMinATL

I love the Hawks, and anyone who doesn't can move out of Georgia.

@JMinATL And, I'm sure the Hawks LOVE you equally and thanks for the permission.

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

The legislation does no real harm, this is simply worship of political correctness and bullying to get your way.

rmitch788
rmitch788

If the NBA really had a problem with the law, they would tell the Bobcats to start looking for a new city outside North Carolina and would assume all costs for moving.

RoseD
RoseD

When will you religious nut jobs learn ~ you cannot legislate morality.

DarianFisher
DarianFisher

@RoseD so i guess pedophiles and incestuous relationships are all fine and dandy to you.

UltraElf
UltraElf

@RoseD the Muslims do it quite well. If you are immoral, you are either whipped, stoned or pushed off a tall building.

Why would a business make drastic changes to appease less than one half of one percent of the population? And, how many in that small percentile care at all about the NBA? Yet they make this decision, claim moral superiority, and think the backlash is all worth it?

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Great column Mark. Timely on another level too.

Riceville1
Riceville1

Let them leave.  All of them.  All sports franchises in the big 4 are leaches on the public domain.  Should we really cater to a minority who somehow have obtained the bully pulpit or should we actually stand for something?  My grandmother always said  "if you don't stand for something you will fall for anything".  Mr. Bradley I fear you have fallen.

Super Elf
Super Elf

NBA is now the NEUTERED basketball assoc.

Super Elf
Super Elf

Florida has the same law. Are they going to stop playing the ASG in Miami and Orlando? OR is it a Mickey Mouse Law. Good for NC to stand up to the NBA. If the Hawks left,no one would care. The NBA is scripted. The NBA is a spoiled brats club-vote the way we tell you or you get no ASG game. Screw them! Their product sucks! NC has morals. These screwed up and confused transgender cry babies want 1% of the population to tell the 80%+ STRAIGHT population what to do. That may work in Dictatorship countries like Iran and n. Korea, but not in the USA. Let them form the Key West Republic and they can gay all they want. But for the NBA to impose the will of 1% of the population who need a check up from the neck up, on the moral majority? Who do they think they are? BOYCOTT the NBA and tell their sponsors!

JasonLago
JasonLago

All this so that LOLA can get an operation to be a man. Freaky

StayingtheCourse
StayingtheCourse

Seriously Mark ... All-Star games don't matter in the true scheme of life ... If the Hawks left Atlanta ... would we really know any difference ...

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@StayingtheCourse


Statements like this show who lives in a bubble. Whether you like the Hawks or not. There is a large economic impact the Hawks have on this city. Obviously not as large as the Falcons or Braves, but still substantial.