The NBA has declared it will pull the NBA All Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina, and relocate as soon as possible due to the removal of anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals.
In March, state legislators passed the controversial HB-2 bill. The law requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that correlate with their gender at birth, regardless of their gender identity.
The league says it hopes that Charlotte can be the host city for the 2019 All Star Game, provided that the law is repealed.
“While we recognize that the N.B.A. 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 the current law,” a statement by the league said.
“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.”
Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina released a statement with some choice words for the NBA.
“The sports and entertainment elite, Attorney General Roy Cooper and the liberal media have for months misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina simply because most people believe boys and girls should be able to use school bathrooms, locker rooms and showers without the opposite sex present…”
“Left-wing special interest groups have no moral authority to try and intimidate the large majority of American parents who agree in common-sense bathroom and shower privacy for our children. American families should be on notice that the selective corporate elite are imposing their political will on communities in which they do business, thus bypassing the democratic and legal process.”
This major move to relocate the most profitable series of events during the NBA season is in line with other stances the league has taken around social issues.
The NBA has been vocal about anti-gun legislation, supported their players speaking out against police brutality and allowed players to wear “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during the warm up period following the death of Eric Garner in New York.