NBA Relocates 2017 All-Star Game Away From Charlotte Over Anti-LGBT Law
On Thursday (July 21), the NBA took a strong stance against the North Carolina's controversial LGBT law, which limits anti-discrimination protections in the state.
In a press release, the multi-million dollar business announced plans to move the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte to another city in a show of support for the LGBT community.
The NBA said in a statement:
“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."
The new location for the 2017 All Star game has yet to be determined. ESPN reports New Orleans has emerged as a front-runner to host the game, while several other cities like Chicago and New York/Brooklyn are options as well. As of right now, the league is allowing Charlotte a second chance to host an All-Star game--in 2019. Of course, "provided there is an appropriate resolution to the matter" regarding the North Carolina House Bill 2.
The NBA has shown incredible support for the LGBT community in the past. Commissioner Adam Silver has been praised for his decision by sports critics. 2016 MVP Steph Curry also showed support, but a hint of disappointment that his hometown wouldn't host the All-Star game. "I knew how much that would have meant to the city to be able to host the greatest NBA guys and celebrate the game of basketball,' he said. "I know the league is in a position where they have to make a decision, and Adam Silver has made one, and we support that."
Carmelo Anthony also shared his thoughts on the decision with ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. “Believe it or not, we’re always put in tough situations," he said. "Some things you can talk about, some things you can’t talk about. I think the NBA has to decide where that line is and when to cross it.“It’s a big decision for the NBA to pull it away from Charlotte. I guess we’ll see what happens from here now.”
The hit to the city is tremendous. Its usually a great way to enhance a cities' schools, health care, and roads. This was an event Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan worked hard to bring to the city. As necessary as it was, you have to feel for all the Hornets fans out there.