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April 07, 2016

WATCH: Charles Barkley takes stand on LGBT rights

NBA analyst says league should move 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte in response to anti-LGBT legislation


Former Philadelphia 76er and current NBA analyst Charles Barkley has never been afraid to chime in, above and beyond the rim, with nuanced positions on everything from racial politics to the moral obligations of stardom. This is the man who wrote a New York Times Bestseller called 'I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It,' which recounts his upbringing in Alabama and traces personal journey into the NBA elite. 

Appearing recently in an interview on CNN Today, Barkley spoke about the 2016 presidential race and specifically objected to the controversial Public Facilities and Security Act signed into law last month by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.

The legislation prohibits individuals from using bathrooms that don't match the sex provided on their birth certificate. Since the law's adoption, executives from more than 100 American companies have signed a letter requesting that it be repealed. The effort was coordinated by the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group that has compiled strong reactions against the bill from politicians all across the United States. 

In response to a question about the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, set to be held in Charlotte, Barkley told Fredricka Whitefield that the game should be moved.

"You know, as a black person, I'm against any form of discrimination — against whites, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, however you want to phrase it. It's my job, with the position of power that I'm in, and being able to be on television, I'm supposed to stand up for the people who can't stand up for themselves. So, I think the NBA should move the All-Star Game from Charlotte. And we can figure it out, I know Atlanta wants to host it. But they should move it out of Charlotte."

The NBA has yet to comment on requests to relocate next year's All-Star Game, but with the voice of one of its most prominent figures behind the cause – no matter how characteristically outspoken he is – the league may be motivated to take a closer look at the possibility of moving it to Atlanta.