As goes North Carolina so goes the nation? It is hard to imagine a scenario in which Donald Trump and the Republicans can win the election in November if they lose the Tar Heel State. With this as a backdrop, we are witnessing an incredible moment in the history of sports and politics in which NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is using his prestige and position in professional sports to help with his personal mission of getting Hillary Clinton elected President this fall.
Much has been written about the NBA’s decision to move the NBA All-Star game out of Charlotte next season because of the passage of North Carolina’s House Bill 2, including by myself. For those of you safely hidden and out of harm’s way of the current culture war raging in America, North Carolina’s House Bill 2 simply stated is legislation that sets into law a bathroom policy for government facilities that would keep men out of women’s rooms and vice versa.
Even if, for the sake of argument, we accepted Adam Silver’s false premise that this bill is discriminatory, the decision to move the All-Star game out of North Carolina is provocative and illogical unless there is an ulterior motive other than what is stated by the Commissioner. After all, as Congressman Robert Pittenger of North Carolina rightly pointed out in a letter to the NBA, the NBA is happy to play basketball in China where serious and lethal human rights and discriminatory practices abound on a daily basis. Or as Rep. Pittenger states it, “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.”
With Charlotte now out of the picture, the NBA hasn’t yet announced which city will host the All-Star game in 2017, but we do know the game will be played in Los Angles in 2018. Are we seriously expected to believe that California, in comparison to North Carolina, is a paragon of legislative virtue? After all, this is California we are talking about, the birthplace of thousands of moonbat ideas and where it is mandatory for children to learn about “fluid gender identity.”
So if there is no inherent logic to Commissioner Silver’s decision to pull the game from Charlotte, it leaves one to believe that the Commissioner’s motivation is nothing more than good old-fashioned backroom brass knuckle politics. Would it surprise you to learn that Adam Silver at one point in his life was legislative aide for a Democratic Congressman, and Silver is a campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential run? Or that he is not alone in this regards in the Commissioner’s Office hierarchy, as the President and Vice President of the NBA, Kathy Behrens and Mark Aronson respectively, are also in camp Clinton ponying up money for Hillary’s presidential race.
The role of the Commissioner in any major sports league can be complex and somewhat contradictory as they need to uphold what is in the best interest of the owners, players, and fans simultaneously. Clearly Silver is interested in none of that and would rather use not his personal clout but the NBA’s to try to portray conservatives in a bad light, fully aware that the punishment he is inflicting on North Carolina in a close election could cost both Governor Pat McCrory and Donald Trump their elections on November 8. Silver knows full well that by taking such drastic action as moving the game under the banner of civil rights, undecided voters who often just follow the headlines and not necessary the facts of the story will assume the headlines are correct and could vote accordingly, thereby punishing the Republican candidates. The press of course is more than obliging to this cause and has already lauded Silver as a great crusader and depicted conservatives in North Carolina as bigots.
I imagine now that the genie is out of the bottle, other league commissioners will use their post to promote their petty personal political causes as well. Municipalities that don’t want their cities’ premium events held hostage by such pirating will need to be proactive moving forward. The next time a sports franchise comes knocking on their door looking to “partner” on a stadium or arena project, I would strongly suggest they negotiate in guarantees for such premium events in advance before handing over any funds, and make those event guarantees contingent upon any deal. If not, municipalities may find themselves not only millions of dollars out of pocket but also puppets to whatever whims men like Adam Silver can invent.