Charles Barkley believes the NBA should move the 2017 All-Star game in Charlotte to protest a North Carolina law that allows for discrimination against LGBT people.
Barkley sat down with CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield in a video to discuss a variety of topics, including the North Carolina issue. The law requires public school and university students to use public bathrooms according to the gender stated on their birth certificates.
“I think the NBA should move the All-Star game from there next year,” Barkley said. “As a black person, I’m against any form of discrimination—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.”
The league released a statement March 24 regarding the North Carolina legislation, suggesting it could impact its ability to hold the annual events at Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the Hornets.
“The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events,” the statement reads. “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.”
In February, the Charlotte city council passed an LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance allowing transgender people to use public facilities based on the gender with which they identify, which was set to go into effect April 1 but revoked after North Carolina governor Pat McCrory signed the new state-level legislation on Wednesday night. The bill also denies state municipalities from introducing new LGBT protection measures in response, such as building multi-stall transgender bathrooms. Only transgender people whose biological sex has been changed on their birth certificate are exempt under the new law.