The NBA is pulling the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte because of House Bill 2, the league said Thursday.
The move comes after state legislators have not changed newly-enacted laws targeted at the LGBT community.
The NBA is now focused on the New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center as the host for All-Star Weekend and the All-Star Game on Feb. 19, according to The Vertical.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had threatened to move the All-Star event out of Charlotte unless House Bill 2 was changed.
House Bill 2 mandates transgender people use public restrooms corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificates in government buildings.
"The economic impact of losing the All-Star Game for the [Charlotte Hornets] and region promises to be dramatic," The Vertical's report said.
The NBA released the following statement:
The Charlotte Hornets and Michael Jordan released the following statement:
“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.”
Gov. Pat McCrory released a statement Thursday evening, saying:
“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.”
North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) issued the following statement about the incident:
“The need for HB2 became crystal clear earlier this month, just steps away from the NBA arena in Charlotte, when a grown man engaged in sexual activity in a women’s public bathroom – which, if Jennifer Roberts and Roy Cooper had their way, he could have argued was legal by simply claiming he felt like being in the women’s bathroom. Lawmakers had several positive conversations with the NBA attempting to find common ground while keeping grown men out of bathrooms and shower facilities with women and young girls, but unfortunately the NBA withdrew from those discussions. Ultimately, the suggestion that state leaders should abandon our moral obligation to protect our constituents in order to keep one exhibition basketball game is absurd and shows a clear contrast in values.”