Last week, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that it will be changing the location of its 2017 All Star Game. The contest, which was originally scheduled to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, has not yet had a new location decided upon. The company’s decision comes as a long expected response to the NC legislature's refusal to repeal or amend HB2, a bill which prevents the installment of androgynous bathroom use as well as the elevation of sexual behavior to a protected class.
Of course, the NBA is a private corporation, and as such has every right to act in a manner that coincides with its collective conscience. Perhaps though, if they don’t wish this action to be seen as a pandering, political stunt, they should distribute their “morals” with a bit more philosophical consistency. For example, 21 additional states across the country have joined North Carolina in actively opposing much of the current federal push for DNA-denying bathrooms. And yet, the NBA has made no effort to prevent contests in any of these areas. Considering that nearly half the country is a considerable portion of the basketball market, I suppose that makes some sense.
More directly, the National Basketball Association has explicitly reached out to China over the last few seasons, in an attempt to globalize the reach of the company. Games between NBA teams have been held in China itself, without so much as a whisper from the leadership about the moral implications of holding competitions in a country that has, time and time again, been cited as a haven for human rights violations. China doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, and yet, the NBA is silent. Just last year China jailed a LGBT activist for organizing a pride parade, and yet, the NBA is all too happy to continue to profit from the emerging market. It would seem then, that the only morality the NBA adheres to is the one that produces the most cash, which is fine, they are a company after all. However, this makes political pandering rather unnecessary, and incredibly disingenuous.
By Cameron Dominy
Cameron Dominy is a 2016 Summer Intern at The Family Foundation of Virginia, and the Governor of the South Carolina Student Legislature.