Update (5:33 p.m.): The NBA has officially relocated the 2017 NBA All-Star Game away from Charlotte, North Carolina, in response to an anti-LGBT bill the state passed in March. Here is the league’s statement:
“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.”
You can read our original post below.
The NBA will “imminently” move the 2017 NBA All-Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He reports that New Orleans will likely host the relocated game.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver threatened to move the All-Star Game months ago, when he was quite clear that Charlotte would lose the All-Star Game unless North Carolina repealed or modified its anti-LGBT H2 law, which was passed in March and overturns LGBT protections and prevents municipalities from passing anti-discrimination laws of their own, among other effects. As of the end of May, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce said that the law cost the city $285.5 million.
Historically, pressure from sports organizations and businesses has been fairly successful at convincing states to repeal or modify heinous laws. In 1990, the NFL removed Super Bowl XXVII from Arizona, after the state declined to designate Martin Luther King Day a state holiday. Two years later the state officially recognized MLK Day, and eventually hosted Super Bowl XXX. In 2014, the NFL was once again prepared to move a Super Bowl from Arizona after its legislature passed an anti-LGBT law, but the bill was vetoed. In 2015, an anti-LGBT Indiana law was modified after uproar from NASCAR, the NCAA, the NBA and others, and the Georgia governor vetoed an anti-LGBT law, which was criticized by the NFL and NBA.