NBA Pulls 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte


In the wake of the passage of a controversial bill that has been criticized as anti-LGBT, the NBA has decided to pull the 2017 All Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina.

House Bill 2 is a controversial law that forbids transgender people from accessing bathrooms in public places like government offices and schools that align with the gender in which they identify with. In addition, the law bans local municipalities from creating their own rules  prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

The league issued a statement on Thursday explaining why they backed out:

“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 willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.”

An announcement on the new location of next year’s game will be revealed in the next few weeks.

“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 or All Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2,” the organization added. “If the NBA holds events in North Carolina while HB2 remains law, players, employees, and fans will be at risk of discrimination- and that’s wrong.”

This decision shadows North Carolina’s General Assembly failing to repeal HB2 earlier this month.

Lawmakers were originally scheduled to resume negotiations until next January. However, the NBA continued to face intense pressure over the past few weeks to relocate the game.

Earlier this month, technology leaders from companies including Google, Reddit, Paypal, Lyft signed a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, urging him to move the upcoming game out of North Carolina.


Image: NBA commissioner Adam Silver, AP/Jeff Chiu