The NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have both come out in opposition of North Carolina’s recent controversial anti-LGBT law. While the league and the state’s basketball team have condemned the law, the most notable athlete from the state hasn’t said much.
Stephen Curry – who was born in Ohio, but grew up in North Carolina while his dad played for the first version of the Hornets – so far has only said something brief. Via CSN Bay Area:
“I know the NBA has a stance on equality and incorporating all beliefs and people from all sorts of backgrounds. It’s interesting how that intersection is, with the state law and the NBA having an event there.
“Hopefully … the right things need to happen, that the All-Star Game stays in Charlotte, because that would be huge for the city. And being from there, I think this will be the second time it’s been there. It would be (something) just to show what Charlotte’s all about, regardless of where you fall on that law. So, hopefully, they can figure it out and keep it there because I think it’s really important for the city of Charlotte and I’m sure we can figure that out.”
Parsing through the words above makes trying to figure out exactly what Curry thinks about the law impossible. However, some have speculated that his ties to Central Church of God in Charlotte could have something to do with his desire not to ruffle any feathers.
Curry attends the mega-church, which is led by a man named Loran Livingston. A Pentecostal pastor, Livingston has some harsh views on the LGBT community. Here is a portion of a sermon that he gave back in September, a few months after the Supreme Court ruled that states must allow same-sex marriages.
If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, Livingston called the ruling “unconstitutional” and said that watching the White House get lit up in rainbow colors made him “sick.”
Now, it’s important to note that Curry doesn’t actually have to do or say anything, as is his right. Sure, he’s one of the league’s most visible stars and he’s from the state, so his word carries more weight than basically anyone else’s on this subject, but if he decides to bite his tongue, he can stay silent.
But the NBA is at a place where its biggest superstars are looked to not just as athletes, but as socially aware figures. Just take the response that some had when LeBron James didn’t condemn the police officer who shot and killed Tamir Rice. James – who is one of the most socially aware athletes on the planet – said that he did not have enough information to make an informed statement on the subject, angering a lot of people in the process.
So, essentially, Curry is in a really tough spot, especially as information comes out about the views of his longtime pastor. Admittedly, this may not be the most fair thing in the world, as Curry can absolutely disagree with Livingston’s stance on the LGBT community. But he is in a position where the things he says – or, in this situation, doesn’t say – matter. We also live in a society where silence is viewed as an admission of guilt, so as long as Curry doesn’t say anything noteworthy, people will assume that his stance is in line with what his pastor believes.
Is this fair? Probably not, but it’s also not fair that members of the LGBT community in North Carolina can be discriminated against because of their sexual orientations, so Curry can probably take a minute and say something a little more concrete about the law.