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by Sarah J.F. Braley | July 21, 2016

The National Basketball Association announced Thursday that it will be moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, N.C., because of the climate created by the state's passage in March of HB2, which curtails legal protections for the LGBT community. The NBA issued the following statement on its decision:

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 restarting 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 Charlotte Hornets and chairman Michael Jordan also released a statement on the decision:

We understand the NBA's decision and the challenges around holding the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte this season. There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so. With that said, we are pleased that the NBA opened the door for Charlotte to host All-Star Weekend again as soon as an opportunity was available in 2019. We want to thank the city of Charlotte and the business community for their backing throughout this entire process, starting with the initial bid. We are confident that they will be just as supportive and enthusiastic for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.

 

Tom Murray, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, had this to say:

The CRVA is saddened that Charlotte will no longer have the opportunity to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. We hope to be able to work with the NBA in the future to show them the inclusive and welcoming spirit our community prides itself on, as well as the strong event management expertise our team and our city can provide. We'll continue to work to bring events and conventions that create substantial economic impact to Charlotte and strive to make every visitor feel welcome in our community.

Gov. Pat McCrory released the following statement on the NBA's decision:
 
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. Twenty-one other states have joined North Carolina to challenge the federal overreach by the Obama administration mandating their bathroom policies in all businesses and schools instead of allowing accommodations for unique circumstances. 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.

M&C previously covered this issue here.