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Charles Barkley: NBA All-Star Game Needs to Bounce From N.C.

Charles Barkley

The basketball legend wants the league to take a stand against LGBT discrimination in North Carolina.

Charles Barkley wants the NBA to make a play against discrimination.

The basketball superstar is advocating that the league move its 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, in response to the passage of anti-LGBT legislation in North Carolina.

In an interview with CNN, Barkley noted that as a black man with visibility, it is his responsibility to speak out for other groups that face discrimination, including the LGBT community.

"As a black person, I'm against any form of discrimination, against whites, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, however you want to phrase it," the sports commentator said. "It's my job -- with the position of power that I'm in and being able to be on television -- I'm supposed to stand up for the people who can't stand up for themselves. So I think the NBA should move the All-Star game from Charlotte."

In March, Gov. McCrory signed House Bill 2. The legislation struck down LGBT-inclusive municipal antidiscrimination ordinances statewide and prohibits cities from adopting any new ones. It also expressly requires transgender people to use public bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match their gender identity.

In response to HB 2, the NBA released a statement denouncing the bill.

"The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events," the league said on Twitter. "We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte."

After Gov. McCrory signed the bill into law, lawmakers in Atlanta asked the NBA to consider its city as a more inclusive alternative to host the annual game. The governor of Georgia recently vetoed similiar anti-LGBT legislation.

This is not the first time Barkley has advocated in the arena of LGBT rights. Last year, he said the Final Four should be moved from Indiana, after the state passed its own so-called religious freedom bill, which gave businesses a "license to discriminate" against LGBT customers.

After basketball player Jason Collins came out in 2013, Barkley said everyone playing in the NBA has "played with a gay teammate."

In 2011, Barkley also took time out during a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., before a Celtics-Magic game to speak out against antigay discrimination.

"You know, people try to make it about black and white," he said of King's legacy. "He talked about equality for every man, every woman. We have a thing going on now -- people discriminating against homosexuality in this country. I love the homosexual people. God bless the gay people. They are great people."

Watch Barkley's remarks on North Carolina below.

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