NBA Moving 2017 All-Star Game Out Of Charlotte Due To NC Anti-LGBT Law

Image courtesy of ann-dabney

Charlotte is out and New Orleans is in, after the NBA made good on its threat to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of the state of North Carolina to protest a state law that went into effect earlier this year. Instead, the league is looking at perhaps New Orleans, and other cities are also vying for the game and the economic boost that comes with it.

The original report came from The Vertical (warning: auto-play video at that link) which cited “league sources” when reporting that the NBA is seeking a new site for the game. The league later confirmed the news and put out a statement this afternoon.

In part, the statement says:

Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change. We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league. These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.

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 statement concludes with the hope that the league will be able to reschedule an All-Star Game in Charlotte in 2019, “provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter.”

North Carolina’s House Bill 2, or HB2, is best known for a provision that restricts people using single-sex restrooms in government buildings to the facility that matches the gender to which they were assigned at birth and that is noted on their original birth certificate. It also has other provisions, like restricting local governments from putting their own laws or ordinances against discrimination by gender identity or sexual orientation in place.

HB2 came into existence in response to an anti-discrimination ordinance passed by the city of Charlotte. Some later tweaks to the law restored some protections from discrimination, but a number of private companies expressed opposition to the law and canceled planned business expansions there.

Moving a sporting event out of a state to formally protest government policies isn’t unheard of: Deadspin reminds us that the NFL took the 1993 Super Bowl away from Arizona in protest of the state’s refusal to make Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday an official holiday. The state later did host a Super Bowl, but only after it began commemorating the holiday.

NBA Statement Regarding 2017 NBA All-Star Game [NBA]
NBA pulls 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, focuses on New Orleans [The Vertical]

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