As a transgender athlete, I applaud the NBA’s decision to stand by their stated values of diversity, inclusion, and respect for all people. In May, I traveled to North Carolina myself to make my second US National Team. It was not my favorite race experience, due in large part to the perceived threat and potential harm I could have been faced with simply by existing in that state.
When a person knows they may be discriminated against, a space is unsafe. While the Hornet organization and the city of Charlotte were reportedly making safe and inclusive spaces, it’s not possible to erase the concerns of transgender fans in that state with the policies that are in place. There become no safe spaces; transgender people and trans athletes are at risk every day in the state. North Carolina is among the worst states in the country for transgender high school and college athletes, as well as other trans and gender non-conforming people.
There is a difference between putting something in your company vision and living by your words. By pulling out of North Carolina, the NBA showed they are, in fact, walking the walk, and I appreciate it. With any luck, other organizations like NCAA will withdraw their events as well.