The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi announced Tuesday that the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks will play two preseason games at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, Oct. 6 and Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.
The NBA signed a deal with Abu Dhabi’s tourism officials last year to play preseason games in the Arabian Gulf.
“Abu Dhabi is a vibrant multicultural hub with a demonstrated track record of hosting world-class sporting events,” said NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum.
Abu Dhabi is a city in the United Arab Emirates where homosexuality is criminalized and is punishable by death. All same-sex sexual acts are banned and criminalized in the United Arab Emirates.
The types of criminalization in the UAE include:
- Criminalizes LGBT people
- Criminalizes sex between men
- Criminalizes sex between women
- Criminalizes the gender expression of trans people
- Imposes the death penalty
American professional basketball player, Enes Kanter Freedom, slammed the woke NBA for its hypocritical stances.
“I’m in disbelief! The NBA is holding preseason games in the UAE where homosexuality is punishable by death This is after making the decision in 2016 to pull out of the All Star games in Charlotte over a bathroom bill that discriminated against the LGBTQ+ Community HYPOCRITES!” Freedom tweeted.
I’m in disbelief!
The @NBA is holding preseason games in the UAE where homosexuality is punishable by death
This is after making the decision in 2016 to pull out of the All Star games in Charlotte over a bathroom bill that discriminated against the LGBTQ+ Community
— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) May 10, 2022
In 2016, the National Basketball Association canceled the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte over Transgender Law that prohibits transgender people from using bathrooms in accordance with their gender identities.
“Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community — current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans. While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2,” the league said in a statement.