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The Door Swings Both Ways

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Kurt Strazdins/Tribune News Service

Kurt Strazdins/Tribune News Service

Kurt Strazdins

Kurt Strazdins

Kurt Strazdins/Tribune News Service

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For many basketball fans, the news of the NBA’s decision to pull their All-Star game from Charlotte, North Carolina may have come as a shock. For LGBT activists and supporters, this surprise has likely taken a more positive tone. Others, like myself, who do not actively follow the NBA, probably see this decision as having little significance.

However, for all three groups, their actions and its widespread acceptance is actually a frightening occurrence that everyone has reason to oppose.

Regarding the NBA’s decision, the word of the day is “precedent”, as in, an example set for future activities. And, as a precedent, the NBA’s decision is horrific. Make no mistake, it is understandable for players, coaches, and commissioners to want to make a difference in society, to take the fame and fortune they have acquired and try to use it to advance causes they see as righteous.

But in doing so through non-political means, they have opened a Pandora’s Box that the whole nation could suffer for. The message sent is that, on any issue of importance, entertainment organization are required to take stances and apply economic pressure to political organizations.

You may be thinking, “That’s great! North Carolina’s law is unjust and governments should stay out of people’s personal lives.”

But the NBA’s decision sets a precedent for just the opposite. If other organizations take the same path as the NBA, no facet of life will be safe from political conflict. Especially with the craziness of the recent presidential race, people need opportunities where they can take a step away from politics and just relax or have fun.

But what’s this? Jeopardy no longer is shown in your state because of local laws on the death penalty? You can’t watch the next season of Game of Thrones because HBO doesn’t approve of your state’s laws on gay marriage? All Chipotles in Pennsylvania are closed until the state changes its abortion laws?

Some may object that this sort of activism from non-political entities is not new. After all, don’t sports organizations ban members if they abuse their spouses, run dog fights, or commit major crimes?

There are two major differences, though: previous actions were made upon near-universally agreed concepts and used against individuals. If a poll were taken on the aforementioned crimes, the vast majority of Americans would oppose them.

Taking action against such misconduct causes no major rift in society. Only one individual, not a populace who elected a constitutionally protected government, is forced to change their ways.

The United States is a big country. If entertainment organizations follow the NBA’s example and take positions on politics, it won’t be long before the myriad disagreements of every one of 300 million spills over into everything.

Forget the National Basketball Association, before long their insistence on absolute conformity to a political agenda will leave them with a handful of isolated states who agree with them on everything. Anyone up for watching the Wisconsin-Connecticut-Missouri Basketball Association game? Or would you rather watch the California-Pennsylvania-Delaware Association?

No one can agree on everything, so why split everyone’s entertainment along political divides? Political conflict is for the political arena.

Lastly, this brings us to recent events at Harriton. Our school decided to enact new guidelines on the recognition of LGBT students, as it is fully within its rights to do. Would you want to create a world where our school could no longer compete in sports with LM or Haverford because their school policies differ? This is the level of division that the NBA’s decision encourages. So for those who want to politicize sports, be aware, the door swings both ways.

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The School Newspaper of Harriton High School
The Door Swings Both Ways