Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports
❝ The NBA has decided to hold the 2017 All-Star Game in New Orleans after taking the midseason event out of North Carolina because of a state law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.
New Orleans, announced Friday as the new location of the game, replaces Charlotte, which was set to host the game until the NBA decided last month to move it elsewhere.
❝ Unlike several other Southern states, Louisiana has not been swept up in legislative efforts to pass laws similar to that in North Carolina — a fact Gov. John Bel Edwards has touted while lobbying the NBA to bring its All-Star weekend to New Orleans.
“We embrace our rich cultural heritage and see our diversity as a virtue,” Edwards wrote in a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in late July. “Should the NBA choose to bring the All-Star Game back to New Orleans in 2017, it will strongly reaffirm its commitment to communities that value fairness and inclusion.”
❝ The NBA’s decision — and the economic boost it will bring — provides a timely dose of good news following disastrous flooding across large swaths of southeast Louisiana that has killed at least 13 people and damaged an estimated 40,000 homes…
This marks the third time New Orleans, which became an NBA city for the second time in 2002, has been selected to host the league’s All-Star Game.
❝ A number of entertainment acts, including a Bruce Springsteen concert, have canceled North Carolina events because of its so-called HB2 law…
The Human Rights Campaign, a national civil rights group working on behalf of lesbian, gay and transgender people, applauded the NBA’s decision to choose New Orleans.
The boycott is an old and honorable political act. The opportunity to stick it to a state controlled by voters who elect and re-elect bigots – and take away $100 million in revenue that would have landed in the North Carolina business community – is enough to make an cynical old Leftie like me smile for days.
That the process ends up benefitting the people of a state traumatized by natural disaster – and expands upon services rendered to needy folks by the kindness and social understanding of NBA athletes – is a special bonus.