NBA Takes Strong Stand Against North Carolina's Anti-LGBT Bill
The NBA made good on its threat.
On Thursday, the league pulled the 2017 All-Star Weekend and Game from Charlotte because of North Carolina's House Bill 2, which eliminated anti-discrimination protections for the LGBT community in the state.
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The law, which was passed in March, bans transgender people from using restrooms in public buildings that don't match their gender at birth.
Thursday's news must sting Michael Jordan. The Hall of Famer and owner of the Charlotte Hornets was against the anti-LGBT law, but had to watch it get passed, anyway. Now, he's watching the 2017 All-Star Weekend leave Charlotte, altogether. (Insert Jordan Crying Face meme here.)
New Orleans, Chicago, and Brooklyn/New York are already being considered as possible host destinations for the 2017 All-Star Weekend and Game to be moved to, with The Big Easy being a frontrunner, according to reports.
The NBA had previously warned North Carolina about losing the 2017 All-Star Weekend next February — and all the revenue that would come with it — over the controversial bill, which became law.
"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," the league said in a statement, as reported by ESPN. "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."
The NBA added: "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."