Yahoo Sports' The Vertical is reporting that the NBA will soon announce that the 2017 All-Stars game will be pulled from North Carolina over it's hateful anti-LGBT legislation, HB2.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver had threatened to move All-Star Weekend out of Charlotte unless a discriminatory North Carolina law aimed at the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community was changed – and time to do so has run out because of the logistics and planning the NBA needs to run its marquee midseason event, league sources said.
The issue is centered on North Carolina’s House Bill 2, a law that mandates transgender people use public restrooms corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificates. The law also omits LGBT people from North Carolina’s anti-discrimination protections, forbids local governments from widening LGBT protections and excludes all forms of workplace discrimination lawsuits from North Carolina state courts.
New Orleans, which last hosted an All-Star game in 2014, now looks to be the leading contender to host the event.
Here's the official notice from the NBA:
The NBA has decided to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte with the hope of rescheduling for 2019. 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.
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.
We are particularly mindful of the impact of this decision on our fans in North Carolina, who are among the most passionate in our league. It is also important to stress that the City of Charlotte and the Hornets organization have sought to provide an inclusive environment and that the Hornets will continue to ensure that all patrons – including members of the LGBT community – feel welcome while attending games and events in their arena.
We look forward to re-starting plans for our All-Star festivities in Charlotte for 2019 provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter. The NBA will make an announcement on the new location of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in the coming weeks.
The Human Rights Campaign chimes in with praise:
Today the NBA and Commissioner Silver sent a clear message that they won’t stand for discrimination against LGBTQ employees, players or fans.
The NBA repeatedly warned state lawmakers that their hateful HB2 law created an inhospitable environment for their 2017 All-Star Game and other events.
Nevertheless, Governor McCrory, Senator Berger and Speaker Moore doubled down on HB2 and refused to undo their discriminatory and costly error in judgment.
Every day that HB2 remains on the books, people across North Carolina are at risk of real harm.
We appreciate the leadership of the NBA in standing up for equality and call once again on lawmakers to repeal this vile HB2 law.