Pistons Coach: Move All-Star Game Because NC Transgender Bathroom Law

AP Photo
The Associated Press

Detroit Pistons president and head coach Stan Van Gundy says the NBA should move next year’s All-Star Game from Charlotte because of a North Carolina law that prohibits people of the sex not corresponding to the designation on a multiperson public bathroom from using such a facility in a government building.

“That game should be moved if they don’t change the law,” Van Gundy told MLive.com. “I’m really proud of, like, Bruce Springsteen moved his concert. I think that’s outstanding.”

Transgender advocates argue that the law should permit men who identify as women to use the ladies’ room. Detractors point to unintended consequences, such as sex offenders using a lax bathroom policy to prey on victims, and the discomfort caused by sharing a public restroom with someone of the opposite sex.

While basketball fans awaited 11th-hour playoff seedings, Kobe Bryant’s farewell, and whether the Golden State Warriors would make history by winning their 73rd game, Van Gundy’s mind remained mired in North Carolina restrooms.

“I don’t care, religious liberty and all of that — look, that’s the same stuff that people brought up during the civil-rights movement,” the two-time Eastern Conference All-Star team head coach opined. “They’ll try to justify it with anything they have. We shouldn’t have the right in our country to discriminate against anybody and especially in this situation. And I think the league should take a stand.”

Taking a stand to allow males to take a seat in the ladies’ room sparked the NBA, which bans men from participating in the WNBA the way North Carolina bans men from participating in the women’s water closet, to consider withdrawing the game from Time Warner Cable Arena despite Charlotte pouring tens of millions of dollars into renovations for the venue at the behest of the league to attract the annual event to the city.

“I understand logistically it would be a major problem [to move the game],” Van Gundy reasoned to MLive.com, “but so what? Sometimes standing up for things that are right makes things tougher. I don’t think the game should be there if they’re not going to change that law.”

At the same time that the Charlotte controversy arose, the NBA announced the New Orleans Pelicans and Houston Rockets matchup for games in Shanghai and Beijing during the upcoming preseason. While China remains innocent, for now, of the transgender bathroom debate, the Middle Kingdom does not recognize gay marriages. The government also forces abortions on many parents looking to give their child the gift of a sibling, cracks down on religions it dislikes, and forbids the public from changing their government should any of this displease them through the ballot.

But what’s all that compared to North Carolina’s incursions on basic human rights by making men use the men’s room and women use the women’s room?