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NBA fights North Carolina transgender laws but won’t remove All-Star game in Charlotte

Posted by Betonline Team on 4/18/2016 2:26:56 PM
NBA fights North Carolina transgender laws but won’t remove All-Star game in Charlotte

The NBA has no plans to move the 2017 NBA All-Star game from Charlotte although it has issues with new legislation in North Carolina that limits access for transgender people in bathroom usage.

However, Commissioner Adam Silver is not thrilled with the law and did not rule out future discussions to move the game. He plans on trying to use his muscle to help change the law. A number of companies have refused to do business there and others are monitoring the law also.

“I think that the best role for the league to play here is through constructive engagement toward change, not setting deadlines, not making ultimatums, but work with the private sector and the government to effect change in North Carolina,” Silver said during two days of meetings in New York. Other companies took more forceful action. PayPal delayed plans to build an operations center in Charlotte and Deutsche Bank won’t add 250 jobs in Charlotte. A number of concerts were cancelled, including those by Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr.

Others chose to keep concert dates but are donating part of the proceeds to gay and transgender organizations.

The league has a long history of standing up for racial and social issues. On Christmas Day, it ran a number of advertisements to call for the end of gun violence. The NBA also owns the WNBA, a league that is popular with gay women and the transgender community.

“The league is against any discrimination in any form,” Silver said. Silver did not want to change the All-Star venue because the Charlotte Hornets play half their games there and does not want to move the team out of the basketball rich state.

“By no means are we saying we’re stepping back,” Silver said. “The message is not that somehow the current state of affairs is ok for the league. Let me be clear. The current state of the law is problematic for the NBA in North Carolina. I think the discussion was how can we be the most constructive in being part of a process that results in the kind of change that we think is necessary?”

The league made more news by announcing that it plans to add advertisements on its jerseys by the 2017-2018 season, a move that could generate $100 in additional revenue. Sports advertising on jerseys is popular around the world but it has not taken hold in the United States because of fan resistance. Only Major League Soccer and the WNBA have sponsorship on their jerseys.

The public seems to be softening because younger fans are accustomed to seeing patches or company logos on jerseys while following sports in Europe. The NBA sent out a test balloon during this year’s All-Star game with patches from automotive company KIA.

Individual teams would sell the patches.

“This is part of building the league,” Silver said. “If you look at the progression of the league over the years, there has been many sponsorship opportunities that we’ve added and they’ve been met initially with mixed reviews. And I’d say over time that we generate more money and invest more money back into the game, improving the game, improving the market, improving and growing the footprint of the game, I think the results will be positive.”


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