WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement after the news that the NBA will move their 2017 All-Star game out of North Carolina in response to the state’s passage of HB2, legislation that sanctions discrimination against the LGBT community:
“I applaud the NBA for standing up for the values of diversity, equality, and inclusion, values that make this league and this nation so great. Our athletes and sports leagues are enormous role models for our children, and that makes it all the more important that they never stay silent in the face of discrimination and hate. This move sends a powerful message across America to those who seek to discriminate.
“I hope that North Carolina’s legislature and governor will take seriously the impact of their actions and the costs that the people of North Carolina are now bearing because of the decision to pass legislation that marginalizes the LGBT community.”
In April, Merkley led a bipartisan letter from six Senators calling on NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to move the All-Star game away from North Carolina in response to HB2. A copy of that letter can be found here.