NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. (AP)
(CNSNews.com) – Family and faith advocates are responding to the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) decision last week to move its 2017 All-Star Game from the planned venue in Charlotte, North Carolina because of the state’s law requiring people to use public bathrooms and lockers that match their biological sex.
Despite this and other attacks on the state, Gov. Pat McCrory and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest have not backed down. Also, several other states are putting protections in place following President Barack Obama’s mandate from the Department of Justice (DOJ) that transgender people should be able to use facilities based on their “gender identity,” and that not allowing them to do so could violate federal civil rights law.
“After weathering the storm -- and picking up millions of allies -- North Carolina isn't about to flinch just because a sports league beholden to the Left's cultural bullies is picking up their ball and leaving town,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, in a statement.
“If losing the NBA All-Star Game is what it costs to keep the Tar Heels safe, so be it,” Perkins said. “It's a small price to pay for even one child's innocence.”
“And here's the irony: the state legislature firmly supports businesses like the NBA making their own decisions – which anyone who reads the law knows H.B. 2 is all about,” Perkins said. “North Carolina, like most states, doesn't believe the government should be telling executives how to run their businesses, especially on policies that carry as much liability as this one.”
Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, said the NBA’s move is an “assault on common sense.”
“The NBA’s decision to punish the state of North Carolina simply because it protects the privacy of its citizens in bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities is an assault on common sense and strong families,” Reed said in at statement. “The NBA should focus on basketball, not left-wing and special interest politics.”
“Unless and until the NBA allows men to enter WNBA locker rooms, it should leave bathroom policy to state legislatures,” Reed said.
The American Pastors Network has also spoken out against the NBA decision, noting that the move may prove more harmful to the sports organization than the state of North Carolina.
Family Research Council President
Tony Perkins. (FRC)
‘For so many years, the NBA has been the framework to showcase athletic professionalism and excellence,” Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastors Network, said in a statement. “For NBA leadership to stoop to political correctness and to permit their focus to be hijacked not only tarnishes the NBA image but diminishes the ability to focus on athletic excellence and professional conduct.”
“The very notion that the NBA feels its mission is to ‘punish’ a legislature, a governor and citizens of such a fine state as North Carolina for acting in accordance with the wishes of the people and the biblical and moral definition of human sexuality is a demonstration of a serious hijacking of historic principle and purpose,” Rohrer said.
“Whereas the NBA may believe its actions will punish North Carolina, I believe this action will prove to be an undoing of the organization,” he said.
“Since the successful passage of HB2, the state of North Carolina has already begun to experience positive economic outcomes,” said Dave Kistler, president of the North Carolina Pastors Network. “Most importantly, our state is in the middle of several spiritual awakenings.”
“I believe these to be nothing less than the smile of God on the courageous actions of our N.C. legislature and governor,” Kistler said.
In a statement released last week announcing the decision, the NBA said the “climate” in the state of North Carolina was not right for its event.
"Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community -- current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans,” the NBA statement said. “While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.”