NC Congressman Fights Back After NBA Blames Bathroom Law, Moves All-Star Game

Abbey Shockley Contributor
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One North Carolina congressman has some words for the National Basketball Association.

Rep. Robert Pittenger wrote NBA commissioner Adam Silver a letter regarding the NBA’s decision to move the 2017 All-Star basketball game from Charlotte. The relocation was attributed to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, widely known as the bathroom law.

In a statement released yesterday, the NBA listed the “core values of [the] league” to include “diversity, inclusion, fairness, respect for others… willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.”

“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2,” the statement continues.

Pittenger’s letter points out that the basis for the decision is flawed, since the NBA continues to host preseason games in China and ignore the lack of regard for human life in that country.

“Dear Mr. Silver,

Last week, I met with constituents from China who outlined the Chinese government practice of forcefully harvesting vital organs as part of their oppression of religious minorities. Meanwhile, the NBA will start selling tickets for preseason games in China next week.

Is the NBA implying China’s abhorrent violation of basic human rights is acceptable, but North Carolina saying men shouldn’t use the girls’ locker room is a bridge too far? What is the NBA’s true priority? The unmistakable hypocrisy is clear to me.

Please justify how you can be engaged with a country who has flagrantly violated human rights with forced abortions and selling vital human organs. There seems to be a gross lack of judgment and moral clarity.


Robert Pittenger”

This is not the first time Pittenger has questioned relations with the country of China. In April, the congressman put pressure on President Obama when he ceased sanctioning a Chinese company that had violated export bans and possibly harmed U.S. efforts to promote human rights.

The new location of the 2017 NBA all-star game has not yet been released.

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