Silver’s Shame



Will Boston Celtic GM Danny Ainge distance himself from the NBA Commissioner.
Will Boston Celtic GM Danny Ainge distance himself from the NBA Commissioner.


Mike Moffett

 by Mike Moffett
Weirs Times Columnist

NEWS ITEM – The National Basketball Association announced that it’s pulling the 2017 NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte, due to a recently-passed North Carolina law seeking to prevent males from using female restrooms.

The above news item represents my own paraphrasing, but that’s essentially the issue.
The North Carolina legislation was in response to recent Obama administration “guidance” to public schools that transgender students be allowed to use bathrooms of their choice. States or locales resisting Obama’s “guidance” risk losing federal funds—or in Charlotte’s case, the NBA All-Star Game, which will cost the Tar Heel State tens of millions of dollars.
What does “transgender” mean? It relates to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender. Basically, it means that if a biological male (with x and y chromosomes) feels more female than male, then he should be allowed to pursue behaviors consistent with a female orientation—to include using female bathrooms and locker rooms.
Some understandably worry that the Obama “guidance” gives license to troubled individuals to engage in behaviors that could threaten innocent females.
Of course, those who express such concerns are labeled as intolerant, homophobic bigots by those who otherwise counsel “tolerance.” And when the Obama administration defines the issue as one of “Civil Rights,” it plays a powerful card that emotionalizes the situation. This creates a very chilling effect on those with contrary perspectives—like the North Carolina legislators, who simply don’t want males using female bathrooms.
As NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver needs to take responsibility for his league’s idiotic actions.
And so how can Silver now sanction the NBA’s ever-closer relationship with China? Having set a high moral bar in judging the good people of North Carolina, how does the commissioner justify partnering with a Communist country that suppresses dissent? A country that’s forced untold millions of women to have abortions? And presumably a country with even less “enlightened” transgender policies than North Carolina?
Part of the answer is that around 80% of NBA players are African-American, and as our first African American president, Obama likely expects a measure of fealty from these high-profile athletes—and the NBA—as he pursues his dubious policies. It’s shameful that Silver and company allow themselves to be such pawns.
But it gets much worse.
Some transgender advocates insist that persons born as biological males who identify as females be allowed to play on female sports teams. This is a major threat to female athletics.
Imagine a 6-foot, 200-pound soccer player running full-speed for a 50/50 loose ball, directly opposed by a 5-foot, 90-pound authentic female? When they collide, which player is far more likely to get hurt?
It’s crazy, but it’s another example of nutty policies being foisted upon the USA by a craven presidential administration—one that’s afraid to confront Iran but bravely bullies North Carolina.
But this isn’t China. We still have some freedom here. North Carolina can still pass sensible laws. And the NBA can choose to boycott Charlotte.
And fans can choose to boycott the NBA, its teams, its apparel, and its telecasts.
I love the Boston Celtics, and like many others, would love to see our NBA team choose Common Sense over Commissioner Silver.
I’m pretty sure that Boston General Manager Danny Ainge is embarrassed by this sordid situation. Hopefully he’ll show the same courage in the front office that he displayed on the basketball court and distance himself and his team from Silver’s cowardly squalidness.
Like many NBA players, Celtic center Tyler Zeller played college ball in North Carolina. I’d love to see the numerous NBA standouts with North Carolina connections boycott the next All-Star Game to support the good people of the Tar Heel State.
Even if it doesn’t follow Obama’s “guidance.”

Sports Quiz
What NBA Commissioner once chaired the Democrat National Committee? (Answer follows)

Born Today …
That is to say, sports standouts born on August 25 include MLB relief pitching sensation Rollie Fingers (1946) and star NFL wide receiver Marvin Harrison (1972).

“On this special Fathers Day, we’d like to wish all of you a very Happy Birthday.”—New York Mets announcer Ralph Kiner.

Sportsquiz Answer
Larry O’Brien served as NBA Commissioner from 1975-84. While Democrat National Chairman in 1972, his office was burglarized, which led to the Watergate Scandal and the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Michael Moffett is a Professor of Sports Management for Plymouth State University and NHTI-Concord. He recently co-authored the critically-acclaimed and award-winning “FAHIM SPEAKS: A Warrior-Actor’s Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back” (with the Marines)—which is available through His e-mail address is