HBO's Gumbel to NBA, NFL: Punish North Carolina for Its 'Bigotry'

On the April 19, 2016 edition of Real Sports, HBO's Bryant Gumbel urged the top executives of the NBA, NFL, and the NCAA to penalize North Carolina over H.B. 2, which he underlined has been "labeled the most extreme anti-LGBT measure in the country." Gumbel claimed that the new law "uses the guise of bathroom concerns to deny certain rights to gay and transgender people, and effectively green lights discrimination towards them." [video below]

The former NBC anchor bemoaned during his commentary that "many of our top sports officials have so far turned a blind eye, when taking action could mean a lot." He singled out three top officials from major athletics leagues, including "NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who could move to take next year's NBA All Star Game away from Charlotte." Since the segment aired, the NBA commissioner actually warned that his organization would indeed move the All Star Game out of the Tar Heel State if the law remains in effect.

Gumbel concluded. "Here's hoping all those guys may yet lead by showing lawmakers in Carolina and other states considering such measures that their bigotry has a price. Here's hoping they come to understand what smarter people have often said — that prejudice tolerated is intolerance encouraged."

The full transcript of the commentary, which aired at the end of HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel on April 19, 2016:

BRANT GUMBEL: Finally tonight, a few words about H.B. 2, a newly-passed bill in North Carolina that has been labeled the most extreme anti-LGBT measure in the country. It uses the guise of bathroom concerns to deny certain rights to gay and transgender people, and effectively green lights discrimination towards them.

What does that have to do with sports? Not a lot. Only that many of our top sports officials have so far turned a blind eye, when taking action could mean a lot. I'm speaking of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who could move to take next year's NBA All Star Game away from Charlotte. I'm speaking of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who could urge owners to change the site of their meetings in Carolina next month. And I'm speaking of NCAA president Mark Emmert, who could seek to change the site of basketball tournament games scheduled for there next year.

Since it's never too late to do the right thing, here's hoping all those guys may yet lead by showing lawmakers in Carolina and other states considering such measures that their bigotry has a price. Here's hoping they come to understand what smarter people have often said — that prejudice tolerated is intolerance encouraged.


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Culture/Society Labeling Liberals & Democrats Sexuality Homosexuality Transgender Sports HBO Video NFL NCAA Bryant Gumbel
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