Anti-LGBT law silences Carolina Panthers

Panthers refused to comment on North Carolina's anti-LGBT legislation. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

by Austin Stallings
Journalism Intern

The passing of North Carolina’s egregious anti-LGBT legislation has North Carolina sports teams sounding off. The Carolina Hurricanes and the Charlotte Hornets released statements condemning the legislation. The Carolina Panthers are the only N.C. professional sports team that has refused to comment on the issue.

The Charlotte Hornets said in a press release, “The Charlotte Hornets and Hornets Sports & Entertainment are opposed to discrimination in any form, and we have always sought to provide an inclusive environment.”

The legislation threatens the team as well as the venue in which they play. Time Warner Cable Arena was expected to be the site of next year’s NBA All-Star game.

The Carolina Hurricanes released the following: “The Carolina Hurricanes and PNC Arena are devoted to providing a welcoming and respectful environment for all fans. We stand against all forms of discrimination.”

The Carolina Panthers told The Charlotte Observer they will not comment on the law, which prohibits cities and counties from making their own anti-discrimination laws.

The law, which has been criticized for being anti-LGBT, was signed by Gov. Pat McCrory. According to the campaign finance website FollowTheMoney, Panthers majority owner Jerry Richardson and three other members of the team's ownership group — Derick S. Close, H.C. Bissell and Steve Wordsworth — are among McCrory's top donors. McCrory previously spent 14 years as mayor of Charlotte.

The Carolina Panthers are the defending NFC champions and lost the Super Bowl in February to the Denver Broncos.

The Gay 3/29/16 @ 1:30 p.m CST