- The Washington Times - Friday, April 22, 2016

ESPN sports journalist Rachel Nichols on Friday flubbed an explanation of a North Carolina law that prohibits people from using the public facilities of the opposite sex.

Ms. Nichols said the law prevents any city in North Carolina from passing legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexuality or gender identity.

“I know some people like to call this the ‘bathroom law,’ but it’s about so, so much more than bathrooms,” Ms. Nichols said on her ESPN show, “NBA: The Jump.” “The new law in North Carolina takes away any North Carolina city’s ability to protect anyone who is gay, lesbian, transgender in any way; to protect them from getting fired from their job, just because they are gay; to protect them from getting kicked out of their house, just because they’re gay.”

But North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican, last week issued an executive order updating the law to expand state employment protections for LGBT people.

Mr. McCrory’s executive order allows local governments and private businesses the right to enact whichever nondiscrimination employment policies they choose.

The executive order also expanded state equal employment opportunity policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

The governor also said he would instruct the legislature to pass a law reinstating the right to sue for discrimination in North Carolina state courts.

“I have affirmed the private sector and local governments’ right to establish its own nondiscrimination employment policies,” Mr. McCrory said in a video explaining the executive order.

“I will immediately seek legislation in the upcoming short session to reinstate the right to sue for discrimination in North Carolina state courts,” he said.

Ms. Nichols also praised NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for promising to move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte if the law is not repealed.

“I never said that Silver should be pulling the All-Star Game right now, because I agree with him — it is much more effective to take your big stick out, wave it around, entice people to move forward, as opposed to just start clubbing away,” she said. “But what I love is that now at least he’s taken the stick out, which is what we really didn’t hear him do when he addressed this last week at the board of governor’s meetings.”

“It affects a lot of people personally, and you don’t want to, as a league, tell some people, ‘Yeah, we don’t care that much about you.’ We should care about everybody,” she said.

ESPN basketball analysts Amin Elhassan and Stephen Jackson also praised the commissioner during the segment.

“You have lesbians, straights, gays — everybody support the NBA,” Mr. Jackson said. “Every event should be for all. I have a gay brother, I support it. I think it should be changed.”

ESPN on Wednesday fired baseball analyst Curt Schilling for posting an image on social media that opposed transgender access to restrooms of the opposite sex.

The network did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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