I wish to supplement your criticisms expressed about the National Basketball Association’s actions in response to North Carolina’s “bathroom bill.” First, last month, Commissioner Adam Silver also put other states on notice that, if they passed similar laws, their respective teams would likely similarly be denied All-Star game bids. Second, he is, quite simply, being hypocritical in citing equality as being a league-wide value that is paramount to the league when one takes into account his and his league’s actions in regards to China.
In October 2016 the NBA conducted two preseason games in Shanghai and Beijing. Silver and members of his staff traveled to these games, using them as a stage to announce the expansion of a multimedia partnership between the NBA and the Shanghai Media Group.
I take issue with these league actions when you consider that, in its annual report on human rights, the U.S. State Department classified China as an authoritarian state in which repression and coercion markedly increased in 2015. Human rights abuses include the oppression of racial minorities and Christians; crackdown on the legal community; detention and harassment of journalists, writers, and others whose actions the authorities deemed unacceptable; discrimination against women and persons with disabilities; a coercive birth-limitation policy that results in forced abortion (sometimes at advanced stages of pregnancy); and trafficking in persons.
So, Silver is okay with China being a major human rights violator but is repulsed by actions taken by states and municipalities to manage bathroom usage so as to protect children. That is not okay with this particular OKC Thunder fan; I will keep my discretionary income in my wallet and refrain from future purchases of game tickets and league merchandise.