Photo by Al Drago
Coach K knows.
Last week, the Duke men's basketball team released its schedule for the upcoming season. The Blue Devils were supposed to play Albany in November as part of the Hall of Fame Tipoff tournament, but that game is no longer taking place
, owing to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's banning of non-essential travel to North Carolina by state employees in New York.
Cuomo's executive order is, of course, rooted in the hideous and shameful passing of HB 2
here in North Carolina.
caught up with Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski yesterday at a practice for the U.S. men's Olympic team, of which he is also the head coach. The paper asked Coach K what his thoughts were on the legislation, and he gave a quick, satisfying answer.
“It’s an embarrassing bill,” Krzyzewski said
. “That’s all I’m going to say about it.”
also collected comments from a few other college basketball coaches in North Carolina.
North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried said he was “appalled” by the bill and is embarrassed when he goes on recruiting visits and parents ask about it.
“I’m against any law that allows discrimination, whether that’s based on race, gender, sexual orientation," Gottfried told USA TODAY Sports. "I don’t understand how someone can support this. I think the people at N.C. State, we believe in inclusion. Being a resident of the state, for me and my family, it’s been frustrating.”
Other coaches throughout the state have expressed their disappointment with the bill, including North Carolina's Roy Williams and Elon's Matt Matheny, who grew up in North Carolina and has coached there since the early 1990s, previously serving at Davidson as an assistant.
“What I love about coaching is that I can sit down with players of different backgrounds," Matheny said. "It’s important to expose players to what’s going on outside the basketball court. It’s important that they’re aware of issues that our state and our country faces. As coaches, we’re the leaders. It’s important that we as coaches at programs — big or small — use our platform to promote a positive message.”
The NBA has threatened to relocate the 2017 All-Star game, which is scheduled to be held in Charlotte, unless HB 2 is repealed. It was not
. No word yet from the league on its next move.