The National Basketball Association enshrined itself as the Grand Marshall of the ‘Progress Parade’ for the month of July after its recent decision to move the 2017 NBA All-Star Game away from Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the Charlotte Hornets. In an official statement, the Association cited ongoing concerns with House Bill 2, officially the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, and protections for LGBT individuals.
This reaction is unsurprising, as other prominent companies have been quick to act similarly, either pulling their businesses or threatening such action in order to pressure state officials to change course. They were successful in Georgia when the governor vetoed a religious freedom bill in March.
The hypocrisy of the Left and its friends reeks.
The NBA and other companies are free to do business where they see fit, denying services, celebration, and $100 million dollars in revenue to a city that would have benefited tremendously from the weeklong basketball extravaganza. The progressive Left applauds the Association’s move, citing its “strong leadership” in standing up for diversity, inclusion, and the LGBT cause.
Unfortunately, this same freedom to conduct one’s business according to the dictates of one’s conscience, values, or (ir)religious beliefs is not afforded to all peoples by the Left. Ask the owners of an Oregon bakery who were taken to task for refusing to provide their services for the wedding of a lesbian couple. Or we could ask the O’Connor family their thoughts on the NBA’s decision, especially in light of the threats their Indiana pizzeria received after they voiced support for the state’s religious freedom legislation and publicly stated they would not cater gay weddings. I doubt they would be thrilled by the response the NBA has received in light of their own experiences. The NBA boastfully removed its revenue-raising power from a city based on faulty understanding of a bill, an understanding that places the safety and health of all people, white, black, heterosexual, homosexual, young, and old at risk over presumed discrimination against transgender individuals. Yet, the individual or small family business possess no freedom to act according to firm religious beliefs.
To be absolutely clear, the NBA holds every right to make such a decision as a private business entity. That right should not be denied, but it must be applied equally to all private entities, corporate or individual. Although I disagree with the political leanings of the NBA, I respect their right to make business decisions. On the other hand, I have zero respect for the Left’s hypocrisy. The Left fails to respect the decisions of private entities that do not align with their ideology. If one’s conscience or religious belief necessitates marching to the beat of a different drum, he or she is not only an enemy of the Left, but now liable to be labeled as racist, homophobic, or transphobic.
For years, the progressive Left has applied this soft-arm totalitarian practice to silent dissenters to clear the way for their progressive agenda. Not only is it hypocritical, but it is also a dangerous practice, cloistering freedom and disrupting an American tradition of living predicated upon the freedom to speak one’s mind, to practice one’s faith, and to exercise liberty of conscience. Americans ought to cherish this tradition and be vigilant for hypocrites who would diminish our rights through false accusations of belittling the rights of others.