Gov. Pat McCrory’s attempt to go all macho and Trump-like the other day by dismissing the NBA’s decision to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte as “PC BS” was clearly designed appeal to a certain demographic. The Guv has quite obviously decided that his best hope to re-energize support for his governorship is to appeal to his conservative base — especially white men who use terms like “PC BS.”
Unfortunately for the Guv, there are a number of powerful new signals from an important part of that base that it ain’t gonna work.
I speak in this case of the world of sports, where happily, it turns out things are not frozen in 1976 as McCrory was hoping. How do we know? Well, read and listen. See what sportswriters and coaches and players are saying.
When you take such a look, you find comments like those of normally conservative coaches Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (who called the law “embarrassing”) and N.C. State’s Mark Gottfried (“I don’t understand how someone can support this”). And you find sports journalists like the News & Observer’s Luke DeCock who called on the ACC to follow the NBA’s lead this weekend, ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski who loudly derided McCrory Sunday morning on ESPN’s The Sport Reporters and Wojciechowski’s fellow ESPN’er Pablo Torre who issued his own takedown of HB2 last week.
All these guys may be high profile, but they sure aren’t card carrying lefty do-gooders. They’re just sports guys who realize that they reside in the 21st Century.
In other words, much as McCrory might want it to be true, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision wasn’t some weird outlier move by a detached figure from the “sports and entertainment elite” as the Guv so lamely alleged. It was the action of a leader who has his finger right on the pulse of his constituents and who was doing exactly what the majority of the informed people in the sports world wanted and demanded.
Amazing as it may seem, hate and exclusion toward LGBT people has rapidly gone out of fashion in the United States — even in the ultra-macho world of sports. Unfortunately, for Pat McCrory, he appears to have missed the memo.