The NBA announced that the 2017 All-Star Game will be moved from Charlotte because of House Bill 2 implemented in North Carolina.
The NBA, led by Commissioner Adam Silver, made the announcement Thursday afternoon. The league has been very vocal about its disagreement regarding the anti-LGBT bill which narrowed down the anti-discrimination protections measures in the state.
In a statement, the league said they are open to rescheduling the game in Charlotte in 2019 provided that there is an adjustment to the controversial bill.
“The NBA has decided to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte with the hope of rescheduling for 2019,” announced Silver.
He added, “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.”
The league has no decision yet over where the game will be relocating, but they will be announcing updates in the coming weeks. According to The Washington Post, league sources hinted at potential relocation sites for the game which have been under consideration for weeks now.
They emphasized that Chicago, New York and Las Vegas have all the potential to be alternatives because these cities offers the same common ground: they all have the facilities and accommodations to host such an event on short notice.
Several NBA players reacted to Silver’s announcement. Superstar Stephen Curry, who grew up in Charlotte, expressed his disappointment over the announcement. However, he also said that he understands and supports the decision of the NBA. Regardless of the circumstances, Curry assures that he still loves the city.
New York Knick forward, Carmelo Anthony also feels bad for the city as well as for Michael Jordan, who is the chairman of the Charlotte Hornets franchise. Meanwhile, Jason Collins, the NBA’s first openly gay player, applauded the decision by posting his own statement on his Twitter account.
The bill, which was passed via the state’s special session in March, prohibits local municipalities from legislating ordinances aimed at protecting members of the LGBT in relation to their use of public restrooms.
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