Recent reports that the NBA was considering moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, NC became a reality yesterday (July 22). The NBA released an official statement expressing why they made this decision and how it’s directly related to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which could legalize blatant discrimination against the LGBTQ community.
“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, according to 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 league will announce the fill-in location for the week-long festivities soon with cities such as New Orleans, Chicago and Brooklyn reportedly being considered. Coincidentally, these are all cities found in states where states have laws in place specifically to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community.
Players and members of the NBA have come out to speak on the major move, including Kevin Durant, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Stephen Curry.
I recognize this was a tough decision for the NBA but I respect the choice. Discrimination of any kind cannot be allowed
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 22, 2016
Curry, who’s a native to the city of Charlotte, says what really hurts is “just I know how much that would have meant to the city.”
“We support [the decision],” he continued, “but at the end of the day, I love Charlotte. I love the city.”
Local politicians are disappointed by the NBA’s decision, given that All-Star Weekend events can provide an economic boom to cities. However, the passing of what’s been called “the bathroom bill” and won’t allow transgender people to use the bathroom for the gender they identify with, as well as suffer other negative consequences, shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The NBA currently hopes to hold the All-Star Game in Charlotte again in 2019.
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Eric Garcetti