March 23rd North Carolina’s General Assembly passed the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act in a special session, where Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2 (“HB2”). HB2 requires every multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility that is designed for use to be designed and used only by individuals based on their biological sex. There is great debate over the discrimination against those who identify as a gender other than their biological sex. Many businesses have shown disapproval of the bill because of the discriminatory aspects of it, including the NBA.
North Carolina is set to host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte and after HB2’s passing the NBA may pull the game in a showing of support for the LBGT community. The NBA released a statement after the HB2’s passage stating, “The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events. We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect, and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte.” The NBA’s statement came out at a time so close to HB2’s passage that it is almost a response to the discrimination portrayed in the bill.
HB2 was a response to a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed transgender individuals to use restrooms in accordance with their gender identity. HB2 made sure to not allow accommodations to the new rule, “in no event shall that accommodation result in the public agency allowing a person to use a multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility designated under subsection (b) of this section for a sex other than the person’s biological sex.” North Carolina may be losing out on a lot more than the 2017 all-star game.
As of March 30th Boston City Council has voted unanimously to ban tax-payer funded travel to North Carolina because of HB2. The ban is making the scenario look more like the Indiana Religious Freedom Act which also discriminated against the LBGT community. When the Religious Freedom Act was passed the NCAA warned Indiana that they would think before holding events in the state and NCAA president Mark Emmert is “monitoring” the situation in North Carolina, as many would suspect he would make the same statements in regards to North Carolina and HB2. The NBA has established itself as perhaps the most progressive of the major US sports leagues under Adam Silver. Instances are noticed stemming from the push to have Donald Sterling resign after his racial comments to the NBA being the first of the major US sports leagues to feature an openly gay, active player after Jason Collins made his historic announcement in 2013. The NBA could take an extraordinary stance on HB2 if they do in fact move the 2017 All-Star Game.