July 28, 2016
As threatened, the NBA has pulled the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte in protest of North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (HB2), otherwise known as the “bathroom bill,” the league announced last week.
The controversial law, which was passed in March, forces transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender they were assigned at birth, rather than the gender they now identify as, and bars local governments from protecting the LGBT community through nondiscrimination policies.
I have a few questions for NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
Since when does the NBA choose to play games and conduct business in cities, states or countries that have laws they approve of? This is the same league that plays games in Mexico. I did not hear Silver demand that Mexico changes its laws. I could give hundreds of other examples of the hypocrisy. Silver and the NBA are demonstrating a dictatorship type of governing instead of respecting state’s rights.
The league’s official statement on the All-Star Game decision stated that they did not believe they could successfully host the game in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.
My next question to Silver is how did the Charlotte Hornets successfully host 41 regular season games following state laws and he cannot host one meaningless exhibition game? Twenty-one other states have joined North Carolina to challenge the federal mandate by the Obama administration. Following Silver’s logic, should not all NBA games in those 21 states be cancelled?
I am not offering a personal view on HB2 though I do have one. I am just not a fan of political correctness and hypocrisy.
NFL training camps are already starting to open up so I thought I would start my preseason series of asking questions prior to opening week. I will do this periodically between now and Week One of the regular season. Here are my first four.
Lets start locally. Can the Carolina Panthers repeat in the NFC and make a return to the Super Bowl? Having one of the top quarterbacks in the game in Cam Newton is a good place to start. But it is always hard to repeat. All you have to do is look back in history to verify that fact. But I do like their talent, their youth, and their head coach in Ron Rivera.
How will RG III (Robert Griffin III) do with the Cleveland Browns? Does he still has something left? And if he does, will being with the Browns hamper his comeback? Or does being with Cleveland lower expectations?
Robert Griffin III
I don’t see this going well. It seems like ages ago when RG III had that memorable rookie season with the Washington Redskins.
Will Brock Osweiler be worth the $72 million the Houston Texans paid him to be their starting quarterback? Osweiler had limited success taking over for the injured Peyton Manning last season in Denver. But he still only won half his starts for a Super Bowl winning team. I actually think this was a good move for the Texans who have been a quarterback away from being a playoff team for years now.
How will Chip Kelly do in San Francisco for the 49ers? Will he be the “creative genius” he was billed to be coming out of the University of Oregon or will he tear down another team like he did with the Philadelphia Eagles? He does not have nearly the same talent in the Bay City so I see him becoming a college guy who never should have jumped to the NFL. He will be back in the college game by 2018.
Doping Back In The News
Like Rio needed yet another problem with the upcoming Olympics.
Athletes are dropping out of the Rio Olympics at an alarming rate. Tennis star Maria Sharapova was banned for two years after testing positive for meldonium. A Romanian kayaking team failed their drug test, disqualifying them, and the International Olympic Committee announced that they could ban up to 31 athletes from competing because retests of their samples collected during the 2008 Beijing Olympics indicated the presence of banned substances.
And then there is Russia.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) have taken the unheard-of move of banning the entire Russian track and field delegation of athletes on grounds of systematic doping.
If the trend continues, the Rio Olympics could be the Olympics with the lowest number of delegations in recent history.
The larger trend of doping continuing to be an issue is obviously continuing. Despite ongoing efforts, the practice of doping persists and seems to be so entrenched in professional sports that no doping sanctions, however harsh, will be able to stop it.
Many athletes clearly decide that the risks are worth it. The lure of headlines and money overtakes the stigma if they are caught.