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Charles Barkley didn’t exactly commit to boycotting TNT’s coverage of the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, but he came about as close as any prominent NBA voice has as the state of North Carolina continues to work with its controversial HB2 Bill.
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The bill, which reverses needed protections for members of the LGBT community, has already drawn protests from thousands and boycotts from musicians like Ringo Starr, Bruce Springsteen and Demi Lovato. Other entertainers have decided to keep their work commitments in the state while under a form of vocal protest, such as singer Jimmy Buffett (who described House Bill 2 as a “stupid law”).
Though Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan and NBA commissioner Adam Silver have released statements expressing concern over the bill, neither has fully committed to working to pull the All-Star festivities should it stay on North Carolina’s books. Silver gave a vague “summer” deadline earlier this month when asked about when he’d consider finding a new home for the All-Star Game.
Barkley, in a discussion with Dan Patrick on Wednesday (via Awful Announcing), offered this:
Dan Patrick: “Will you consider boycotting the All-Star Game?”
Charles Barkley: “Yes. I told my boss, I don’t want to act like I’m jumping on a sword, but I’ve talked to (NBA Commissioner) Adam Silver, we need to move the All-Star Game … I hope they don’t put me in a situation where I have to boycott the All-Star Game, we need to move the All-Star Game.”
Moving the All-Star Game, as we’ve discussed before, would be a massive undertaking and it would cost the city of Charlotte’s residents hundreds of employment opportunities. Those opportunities would spring up in other cities, however (Atlanta has already offered its services), and a move is still quite feasible.
If not ideal. The point isn’t to find a new home for a silly All-Star Game and a Dunk Contest featuring mascots and league-sponsored automobile props. The point is the repeal HB2, a discriminatory law that serves no function.
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