Charles Barkley is the latest public figure to speak out against North Carolina’s House Bill 2.
Speaking with CNN, Barkley said he wanted to use his platform as a celebrity to speak on behalf of those who don’t have a voice, saying the NBA should move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte since the state enacted laws allowing discrimination against the LGBT community.
“I think the NBA should move the All-Star game from there next year. As a black person I’m against any form of discrimination, against whites, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, however you want to phrase it. It’s my job, with the position of power that I’m in and being able to be on television, I’m supposed to stand up for the people who can’t stand up for themselves. So I think the NBA should move the All-Star game from Charlotte.”
It’s a bold, yet unsurprising move for Barkley to publicly take a stand against the laws. He’s long been in favour of equal rights for all and hasn’t been shy from speaking about it in the past.
Barkley’s suggestion is a distinct possibility, as the NBA released a statement last month saying they were “deeply concerned” about the discriminatory law and that they were not sure how it would affect Charlotte’s status in hosting the game. The NBA wouldn’t be the first big business to pull out of North Carolina due to the laws, as PayPal, Lionsgate and Google Ventures are among the many businesses to cease their relationship with the state following the bills implementation. The Carolina Hurricanes and Charlotte Hornets also spoke out against the law.
The NBA hasn’t announced whether they’re going to pull the All-Star game from North Carolina, but considering Barkley’s comments and the reaction by fellow businesses and sports teams alike, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see them find a new host.