When I was on the college swim team, I was grateful for the distinction between the men’s and women’s teams. The men swimming at the same level were, understandably, much faster. At our conference championships, the times that would have put me in the top eight women would not have even gotten me close to the top eight men.
You know what else I was grateful for during my college swimming career? Separate showers and locker rooms for the teams.
It’s easy to see why men and women have separate sports teams, which is why the NBA created the women’s NBA (WNBA) 20 years ago. They appropriately recognized that there is a difference between men and women, and providing separate teams gives women more opportunities to use their talents than they might otherwise have on co-ed teams.
You would think that it’s also easy to see why men and women should have separate locker rooms, showers, and restrooms, too.
And yet, the NBA has announced that it will relocate the men’s NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte to another city (possibly New Orleans) because of a state law, HB2, that says in public buildings and schools communal shower facilities, locker rooms, and restrooms may only be used by members of the designated biological sex (while offering accommodations to anyone uncomfortable using the communal facilities). HB 2 doesn’t regulate private businesses, like the NBA; they are free to adopt their own shower and restroom use policies.
It’s a commonsense law that protects the privacy and safety of North Carolina’s citizens.
Men and women don’t need separate private spaces, but they need separate sports teams?
That just doesn’t make much sense.
ADF Legal Counsel Kellie Fiedorek had this to say about the relocation of the All-Star game:
Pulling the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte is unreasonable and hypocritical. If the NBA actually believed that there is no difference between men and women, it would merge its two leagues... Today, the NBA hopes no one notices that it properly maintains separate leagues for men and women while it opposes the commonsense law that simply protected the dignity interests and privacy rights of North Carolinians.
It’s important to point out that New Orleans also has a city ordinance that allows for separate changing, shower, and restroom facilities for men and women. On top of that, 24 states, including Louisiana, have sued the Obama Administration over a directive that would allow students to shower and change in facilities designated for the opposite sex as well as share rooms on overnight trips. A number of NBA teams are in those 24 states.
If the NBA continues to avoid the states that support commonsense laws that protect everyone’s privacy and safety in private spaces, it seems that their choices are becoming more limited.
No one should be forced to change or shower with a member of the opposite sex
We must support commonsense laws like North Carolina’s. To learn more about what ADF is doing to defend privacy and safety in private spaces, visit www.SafeBathrooms.org. And share this post on social media to spread the word about these laws and their importance as well as the hypocrisy of organizations like the NBA.