Politically Activist NBA, Not Your Grandfather’s NBA
In the event you haven’t noticed, the National Basketball Association ownership group has become very active in social issues with Adam Silver in the Commissioner’s chair. The same may be true because the players have found a social consciousness or for other business reasons.
The NBA is now taking on a former ally, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory over what is known as the “bathroom law.” The “bathroom law” directs people in the state to use the bathroom which corresponds to the gender that is on their birth certificate which impacts transgender people. The NBA has pulled its 2017 All Star Game from Charlotte and a building that Mayor Pat McCrory got approved in 2003 despite voters saying no the the new arena. The league had warned McCrory for months that it could pull the event.
The NBA released a statement on the same: “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.”
July has been an eventful month for the NBA. Moving the All Star Game comes after Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James urged other athletes at a sports award show to get involved in social issues. It is a far cry from 1992 when Craig Hodges joined his Chicago Bulls teammates at the White House and handed a note to President George HW Bush complaining about the Bush policy to the poor and minorities. Hodges was not offered a contract after the championship Bulls visit. The NBA is hopeful the bathroom law will be overturned in the future. NBA activism is now commonplace.
By Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.