North Carolina Governor Attacks NBA For Pulling 2017 All-Star Game

by ZACK FORD –

Gov. Pat McCrory

The NBA announced Thursday that it will no longer hold its All-Star Game in Charlotte next year because North Carolina state lawmakers refused to backtrack on HB2, the anti-transgender law passed earlier this year. Though the event would have had a $100 million impact on the city, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) simply doesn’t care if that’s what it takes to keep HB2 on the books.

In an interview Friday morning with Mike Collins of Charlotte Talks, McCrory seemed to shrug off the latest economic blow in response to the discriminatory law. “I’m disappointed, I strongly disagree with their decision, and to put it bluntly, I think it’s total PC BS,” he said. “It’s an insult to our city, it’s an insult to our state, and I think it sets a dangerous precedent of the corporate sports and entertainment elite basically asking for a quid pro quo on legislation or else they’ll deny their service. I don’t think that’s the way we should do business and I don’t think that’s the way the political system should run.”

Throughout the interview, McCrory stood by the anti-transgender views that he holds and which are the foundation of the law, such as the false notion that girls’ privacy in locker rooms is at threat. He repeatedly blamed “the HRC group,” as he referred to the Human Rights Campaign, for targeting North Carolina to impose a “change of norms that we had never seen or discussed before.”

But at the end of the HB2 discussion, he lashed out even further at the NBA:

It’s almost, Mike, an Orwellian type of situation in our country in which the thought police are purging anyone who disagrees with their particular political opinion. And in this case, the NBA is purging our state and our city based upon our political democratic process and denying their services based upon our political opinion, which I think is Orwellian.

At no point did McCrory acknowledge that there was anything wrong with HB2, nor did he suggest that the NBA’s move would in any way influence the fate of the law. As he did in his original statement on Thursday, he tried to suggest that North Carolina isn’t so different from other states.

“We have the exact same laws, basically, as about 27 other states,” he claimed, likely referring to the many states that have no explicit protections for the transgender community. The statement is unequivocally false, however, because North Carolina is the only state with a law dictating which restrooms transgender people can and cannot use.

McCrory’s flippancy was also evident in interactions he had Friday morning with state Rep. Chris Sgro (D), director of Equality NC and the only openly gay member of the legislature.

Just saw @PatMcCroryNC in the hall and told him I’d love a public convo about . He repeated “publicly?” and laughed out loud. Not joking

.@PatMcCroryNC just shouted at me “congrats, you got what you wanted.” Actually, Governor, we all lost – because of you.

In the interview, McCrory said, “For those people — who I sincerely care for — who have gender identity and gender expression ‘issues’ that they’re dealing with, we ought to make reasonable accommodations for them.” He blamed the Obama administration and Charlotte mayor for bringing these issues up, because “people were dealing with it on their own.”

 

Reprinted with permission from Think Progress, a branch of The Center for American Progress