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NBA Stepping Up Against North Carolina’s Anti-Transgender Bathroom Law

Being trans isn’t easy.  It can be met with shock and judgment from family, friends, and strangers.  It also means that you are statistically more likely to be a victim of sexual assault.  Trans women, for example,  are 1.8x more likely to experience sexual violence.  And yet, the state of North Carolina has deemed it necessary to pass to law that trans folks must use the bathroom based on the sex they were assigned at birth.

Trans woman Kelly Lauren posted this photo on her Facebook page, giving a pretty good idea of why this type of law is the height of absurdity.   

In the midst of the North Carolina government pissing on human rights, they have also been slated to host the 2017 NBA All-Star game.

After the news broke about this legislation, NBA Hall of Famer and analyst Charles Barkley came out against the law and suggested the game should not be held in North Carolina.  And the league agrees.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated that the NBA has been “crystal clear a change in the law is necessary for us to play in the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event.”  Silver did not give a timeline on when a decision would be made about moving the game, but you can bet it will be soon.  He did say that everyone “know what’s at stake in terms of the All-Star Game.”      

And there is a lot at stake here.  Forget for a moment that the NBA plans these games years in advance and the work done for that.  But it’s a really big deal for Charlotte, North Carolina.  First, they spent $40 million to upgrade their stadium in order for their all-star game bid to get accepted.  And $33.5m of that was paid for by the city.  But that is money well spent for cities hosting the NBA All-Star Game.  Over the past 5 years, the host city averaged an injection of $117.2m t the city economy.   There is also a huge opportunity for local businesses.  It’s estimated that 30,000 people visit the host city for all-star festivities, spending from $162 to $1,020, not including the cost of the ticket.   

In short, this is a big deal.  Hats off to the NBA.   Your move, North Carolina.

Featured Image: Bismack Biyombo of the Charlotte Hornets during a preseason game against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center on October 17, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Flickr user Keith Allison via Creative Commons      



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