Last month, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill into law that requires transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding with the gender assigned to them at birth, a move that's been widely protested as an open discrimination of the LGBT community. The backlash has even prompted business to pull large-scale operations out of the state, including PayPal, which announced it will cancel plans to build a $3.6 million development that would have created 400 jobs.
Now the NBA is on the hot seat to follow suit — its 2017 All-Star game is scheduled to take place in Charlotte. A representative for the league has already said the law "runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect," and doesn't know "what impact it will have" on the ability to host the game in North Carolina, but no official decision has yet been made.
Charles Barkley isn't shy about what he thinks the NBA should do, and soon. The NBA analyst and former player said in a recent interview as blunt as can be: "I think the NBA should move the All-Star game from there next year."
"As a Black person I'm against any form of discrimination," he continued. "Against Whites, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, however you want to phrase it. It's my job, with the position of power that I'm in and being able to be on television, I'm supposed to stand up for the people who can't stand up for themselves. So I think the NBA should move the All-Star game from Charlotte."
With Georgia and Mississippi also coming under fire recently for anti-LGBT legislation, it absolutely helps for Barkley and others with a position of power to speak out against the disturbing trend of discrimination. Get enough loud voices behind the cause and real change can happen.
Cover image: Creative Commons