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Gorch on the Porch: Discrimination consternation

July 24, 2016 GMT

All it took was one drive around the county on Saturday to fill my head with plenty of sports thoughts.

From baseball to basketball to golf, my brain can’t hold them anymore.

Before I even arrived anywhere, as well as in between stops, all I heard on sports talk radio was basketball. One of the subjects was the National Basketball Association (NBA) moving the All-Star Game in February out of Charlotte because of North Carolina’s House Bill 2 that discriminates against transgender people and which public washroom they can use. The other was the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) fining players for wearing non-regulation black t-shirts during warm-ups of a couple recent games in support of Black Lives Matter.

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Let’s start with the latter. If players in a professional league want to display their support in a simple way such as wearing neutral t-shirts during warm-ups, what’s the harm in that? I know a pro sports league is a private entity that can have it’s own rules, but this really sounds like an infringement on our Freedom of Speech rights in the U.S. Constitution.

This also sounds like a business decision by the league so it doesn’t offend people who don’t care for the Black Lives Matter movement (there’s words to describe those people … I’ll just let you fill in the blanks).

About 30 years ago, the great Michael Jordan was asked why he wouldn’t endorse a black politician in his home state of North Carolina, and, like the businessman he’s become, he answered, “Republicans buy shoes, too.”

And that brings us to the team Jordan owns, the Charlotte Hornets not being able to host the NBA All-Star Game this coming season because of his state’s discriminatory transgender law.

The world has changed, but some states choose not to change (Indiana has been accused of this, too). It’s your choice to agree or disagree with House Bill 2, but the bottom line is that the bottom line rules the world nowadays, and the NBA is deciding to take a stand against discrimination by pulling its money-maker out of North Carolina.

It’s a shame because Charlotte basketball fans deserve better after the NBA allowed the Hornets/Bobcats to move out of Charlotte and relocate to New Orleans 14 years ago. Similar to the NFL and the city of Cleveland when it lost the Browns in the 1990s, the NBA had its next franchise return to Charlotte.

But it’s also a shame because the NBA could have decided to keep the game in Charlotte, but add stuff to All-Star weekend in response to the state’s law. That could have included something on the uniform supporting the LGBT community, having players speak to the crowd before events, etc.

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At least that would not have hurt people who have nothing to do with the law, though another way to look at it is that those people voted the law in. So something had to be done.

• OK, enough real-world controversy. How about some golf?

I drove by two golf courses on Saturday, and despite the extreme heat, there were plenty of golfers hitting that little white ball. And next weekend, hopefully there’s a lot of them doing the same thing at Michigan City Municipal’s South Course.

The annual City Tournament will take place on back-to-back weekends, starting July 30-31 with qualifying. You can still sign up through Thursday evening at the Municipal clubhouse.

And the great thing about the City Tournament is everyone has a chance to win, even me and my 20-something handicap.

Every flight — from Championship to A Flight and B Flight and so on, as well as Senior men and Senior women (yes, there’s a senior women’s division this year) — will pay out the top golfers. The top five in Championship Flight will earn checks, while the top two in every other flight will earn money.

The defending Championship Flight winner is Richie Butler, who will be looking for his sixth straight title.

For more details on the tourney, call M.C. Municipal at 873-1516.

• And how about a baseball thought.

As a White Sox fan, I’m very distraught at the state of my team. The South Siders are stuck in mediocrity without a clear vision, or at least a realistic vision.

It’s time to tear it all down and build it back up, just like how the North Siders have done over the last five years. The Cubs got bad so they could be good for years to come. The White Sox piece things together, got lucky to win a World Series 11 years ago, and have only made the playoffs once since that year.

And no one is untouchable, including Cy Young Award contender Chris Sale. In fact, I say let’s offer him to the Cubs. He’d immediately be the No. 1 (sorry Cub fans, but right now, he’s better than Jake Arrieta or Jon Lester) and would make the Cubbies the immediate favorite to win it all. All we’d want back is a pair of Kyles (Schwarber and Hendricks), Javier Baez and a top-five minor league prospect.

Reach Steve T. Gorches at sgorches@thenewsdispatch.com or (219) 214-4206. Follow him on Twitter @SteveTGorches.

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