NBA Hall-of-Famer and former Most Valuable Player Charles Barkley has said in a recent interview that he is urging the National Basketball Association (NBA) to move the All-Star Game next year away from Charlotte due an “anti-LGBT law” that the state has recently passed.
Barkley, 53, says that he wants the NBA to make the move as a sign of protest to the recent law passed by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory just last month.
Charles Barkley expressed his opinion in an interview with CNN on Thursday.
“As a black person, I’m against any form of discrimination – against Whites, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, however you want to phrase I.”
Also, the 11-time All-Star player has said that with the job and position of power he has, especially as someone who appears on television, he should be able to stand up for “people who can’t stand up for themselves.”
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) April 6, 2016
Just last month, Gov. McCrory signed House Bill no. 2, officially known as Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act. The new state law prohibits anyone from using public restrooms that do not match sex indicated by the person’s birth certificate. The new law is seen as discriminatory to gays, lesbians, and especially transgenders.
Aside from this prohibition, the law also prevents Charlotte, and any other local government body for that matter, from passing their own anti-discrimination laws.
The recently-passed law has already led to some businesses cutting their ties with North Carolina as an act of protest.
Some local businesses led by LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign have already signed a letter addressed to Gov. McCrory and other legislators appealing to revoke the discriminatory law.
CEO of $63 Billion Pepsi Writes Letter to NC Gov. Pat McCrory Asking For Repeal of Anti-LGBT Law HB2 – https://t.co/TaZZbLhJTK
— ThinkProgress LGBT (@TPEquality) April 4, 2016
The passing of the new law has also led PayPal to cancel its plans to manufacture a global operations center in Charlotte worth $3.6 million. The facility would have employed more than 400 people.
PayPal refuses to open new office in North Carolina to protest anti-LGBT law https://t.co/V8jR1qda3X
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) April 6, 2016
Meanwhile, supporters of the law such as the North Carolina Family Council argued that while HB 2 applies to state public restrooms, private businesses can follow their own policies on bathroom use.
“HB 2 does not impact the ability of businesses to adopt their own internal employment, non-discrimination, or bathroom policies,” a post said on its website.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 31, 2016
Barkley’s comments about the anti-LGBT law are considered crucial in the stand of NBA athletes and personalities, especially since many of the current NBA stars have yet to comment on the issue.
As for reigning MVP Steph Curry, who is a North Carolina native, he does not think that anyone should be discriminated against; although, he has not made any comments to denounce or criticize the law itself.
“While I don’t know enough about the North Carolina law to comment more fully, no one should be discriminated against,” said Curry, who is a member of the Center Church of God in Charlotte, which allegedly promotes anti-LGBT sentiments.
— theScore (@theScore) April 5, 2016
In addition to criticizing the new law, the former Phoenix Suns power forward said that, in general, politics in the United States has become all about “rich people screwing poor people.”
Charles Barkley is known as an outspoken individual who often shares his thoughts on political issues.
Last year, the former All-Star MVP also spoke out against the “religious freedom” bill in Indiana, which a lot of people believed discriminated against the rights of members of the LGBT community.
At that time, he said that as long as anti-gay legislation exists in such states, big sporting events like the Final Four or Super Bowl should not be held there.
— Doug Meehan (@dougmeehan) March 30, 2015
Meanwhile, while the NBA has expressed that it is “deeply concerned” about the law, it has not made a decision on whether to move the All-Star Game from Charlotte to another venue.
[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]