The NBA moved the NBA All Star game out of Charlotte yesterday, and Republicans sure are pissed about it. The office of Lt. Gov. Dan Forest sent us a statement riddled with errors and fearmongering
after we posted our original story about it yesterday, but it turns out Forest isn't the only one losing his tenuous grasp on reality.
Chris Sgro, the Equality NC director who served in the short session as a state representative from Greensboro, had a pretty interesting interaction with McCrory as he was walking into a press conference in Charlotte. From Sgro's Twitter:
"The governor was on Charlotte Talks this morning," Sgro tells the INDY. "He was just spouting a tremendous amount of mistruths in Charlotte’s role in losing the All-Star game and safety and security…so I went over to his press conference, and then he moved the press conference to a secure location that I didn’t have access to."
Sgro then says the interaction described in his tweets happened, and McCrory then ducked back into the room before Sgro had a chance to reply. "No one got what they wanted, and the fault is with the governor," Sgro says. "If the governor is going to continue to spread false information about HB 2 and its impacts, as well as what happened with the All-Star Game, when he knows very well that it’ll move to a city with the protections Charlotte had, he owes a conversation to the LGBT community. And that’s something that needs to happen soon."
Sgro is right: New Orleans, which is said to be the frontrunner to get the All-Star game, is one of over 200 American cities that has a non-discrimination ordinance which has protections based on gender identity. Surely, it has to be a coincidence that they're thinking about moving it to another Southern city which doesn't have legalized bigotry (of this kind, anyway) forced onto it by the state legislature.
McCrory shouldn't take it from us: he should give the NBA's statement a read. Emphasis ours:
Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change. We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league. These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.
“Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community – current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans. 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."
Notice that you won't find Sgro, Charlotte mayor Jennifer Roberts, the Charlotte City Council, the LGBT community, or any other group McCrory would like to blame for losing a nearly $200 million event, listed as the reason why the NBA is moving the All-Star Game. No, the NBA itself specifically says that the "climate created by HB 2," which was rammed through in a one-day special session and then signed into law that night by Governor Ralph Wiggum, was the basis for the decision.
Own it, Governor. You helped create this monster, and it's time to stop blaming everyone else who drew attention to the destruction it caused.