The elite basketball league has been criticized for the move given the Emirate’s attitude towards the LGBTQ community.
The NBA has announced two games in Abu Dhabi, drawing criticism given the basketball league’s alleged support for social causes and the emirate’s alleged mistreatment of the LGBTQ community.
The preseason games will see last year’s NBA champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, take on the Atlanta Hawks at Yas Island on October 6-8, and will be the first of the elite championship in the United Arab Emirates.
When they were announced, Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said the NBA “continues to do an incredible job growing the game internationally” and that his franchise was “thrilled to have the opportunity” to make history by participating in the games. first NBA games in Abu Dhabi.
Furthermore, Kookin added that his players and staff could “Deep into the culture of Abu Dhabi” .
Echoing this was Bucks president Peter Feigin, who said his team was “honored to have been selected” to participate in the UAE’s first-ever NBA games and would be proud to represent their “city fans.” , the state and the Bucks» there.
The Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks will play two preseason games at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 6 and 8, 2022. The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 will mark the league’s first games in the United Arab Emirates and the Arabian Gulf.
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) May 10, 2022
However, not everyone has shared such enthusiasm, with many corners pointing to the NBA’s previous support for gay rights that clashes with the alleged mistreatment of the LGBTQ community in Abu Dhabi, where homosexual activity is considered criminal.
In the Emirate, people found guilty of being gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans face huge fines and are forced to undergo mental health treatment if not subjected to other harsh penalties such as life imprisonment, flogging, castration chemical or, in the worst case, execution.
In 2016, the NBA moved the All-Star Game from Charlotte after saying a North Carolina bathroom bill at the time discriminated against the LGBTQ community, as noted by one site.
Six years later, though, he went on to plan preseason games in a place where being gay is technically illegal.
On Twitter, the NBA was told that it was “playing venues that are funded by blood money” and that their announcement was a “bad look” .
“The NBA moved the all-star game out of North Carolina, but is willing to play in the United Arab Emirates. I’m glad they have so many principles.” remarked another part, sarcastically.
The NBA moved the all star game out of North Carolina but is willing to play in the UAE. Glad they’re so principled
— Scott (@CoachScott619) May 10, 2022
“The NBA boasts of having progressive positions but decides to turn a blind eye to the abuses in China and now even crosses the line of no return by going to Abu Dhabi.” Another review started.
“More than legitimate for a business but obviously now giving moral lessons becomes very complicated”, it was suggested.
With the Hawks already eliminated by losing 4-1 to the Miami Heat in the first round, the NBA season is now in its conference semifinal phase as the defending champion Bucks are tied 2-2 with their Eastern rivals, the Boston Celtics. a best-of-seven series.