Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of NC Values Coalition issued the following statement this afternoon after USA Today reported that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver plans to announce the League will move the 2017 All-Star game. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the professional basketball league is now eyeing New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center as the host for 2017’s All-Star Weekend. The NBA released the following statement at 5:30pm:
“We are disappointed that Commissioner Silver has decided to cancel the League’s commitment to the City of Charlotte, the Charlotte Hornets, and the people of North Carolina over the League’s desire to give in to the bullying by radical left-wing groups like the Human Rights Campaign and Equality NC. The League has decided that advancing a political agenda that embraces allowing grown men into the bathrooms and showers of young girls is more important than protecting the privacy and safety of their fans. Our telephone conversations with the customer service staff at the Smoothie King Arena Box Office this week indicate the stadium in New Orleans has the same bathroom policies as Time Warner Arena in Charlotte.
It is ironic that the NBA would choose to relocate their All-Star game to the State of Louisiana since last month the state joined North Carolina and 22 other states to stop President Obama’s transgender bathroom directive granting boys access into girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities in schools and universities.
20 years ago this year, the NBA recognized the innate biological differences between men and women and created the WNBA to provide opportunities for women to play a sport they love with other women. Today, the NBA denies these biological differences and seeks to force women to compromise their privacy and safety in the stadiums in which their leagues play. This is hypocrisy at its worse and yet another example of the bullying and deceitful tactics opponents of privacy and freedom are making. The NBA should be ashamed of itself for using North Carolina—particularly its young girls—as a political pawn for an out-of-touch agenda that compromises both dignity interests and privacy rights.
The NBA issued guidance last year that teams and leagues must invest more in family-friendly sponsorships and activation campaigns to make their events more family-friendly. Today’s decision to force men and women into the same bathroom facilities demonstrates that the league is abandoning their pro-family policies in favor of big business sponsorship dollars. Families can no longer look to the National Basketball Association as a pro-family organization.
We would expect the league to reimburse the city and its partners for the taxpayer funds that have been used to renovate Time Warner Arena and plan for the 2017 NBA All-Star game since the city and state have honored their commitment to the NBA.”
Senator Phil Berger issued a statement tonight saying,
“The need for HB2 became crystal clear earlier this month, just steps away from the NBA arena in Charlotte, when a grown man engaged in sexual activity in a women’s public bathroom – which, if Jennifer Roberts and Roy Cooper had their way, he could have argued was legal by simply claiming he felt like being in the women’s bathroom. Lawmakers had several positive conversations with the NBA attempting to find common ground while keeping grown men out of bathrooms and shower facilities with women and young girls, but unfortunately the NBA withdrew from those discussions. Ultimately, the suggestion that state leaders should abandon our moral obligation to protect our constituents in order to keep one exhibition basketball game is absurd and shows a clear contrast in values.”
US Congressman Robert Pittenger had this reaction to the NBA’s announcement:
“Last week, I met with constituents from China who outlined the Chinese government practice of forcefully harvesting vital organs as part of their oppression of religious minorities. Meanwhile, the NBA will start selling tickets for preseason games in China next week. Is the NBA implying China’s abhorrent violation of basic human rights is acceptable, but North Carolina saying men shouldn’t use the girls’ locker room is a bridge too far? What is the NBA’s true priority? The unmistakable hypocrisy is clear to me. You be your own judge.”