The NBA (National Basketball Association) is moving next year’s All-Star Game from North Carolina because of HB2, the state’s controversial anti-LGBTI law.
‘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 league said in a statement.
Passed earlier this year, HB2 diminishes workplace protections for LGBTI people including blocking local governments from passing anti-discrimination laws. In addition, it requires transgender citizens to use public restrooms according to their birth certificate gender.
North Carolina and the federal government are facing each other in court over HB2 and the NBA had been pushing for a repeal of the law.
The NBA’s Charlotte Hornets are based in North Carolina. The league had a week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities planned involving current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans.
‘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,’ the statement also reads.
‘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.’
The league has not yet announced a new host city for the All-Star event. But it is now planning to hold the game in Charlotte in 2019 ‘provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter.’
The NBA’s announcement comes just days after North Carolina tweaked the law to allow people to sue for workplace discrimination but left the rest intact.
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