Thursday, July 21, 2016

NBA Moves 2017 All-Star Game Out Of North Carolina To Protest Anti-Gay Law


"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 (read the full statement below). "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 said it will announce a new site for next year's All-Star Game in the coming weeks. There is sure to be interest from many of its franchises, as the game — and its many associated events — is a major municipal revenue source. The 2018 All-Star game already is set for Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The move is something of a pivot for the league, which had said in April that the All-Star Gamewould stay in Charlotte. "The current state of the law is problematic for the league, but we're not making any announcements now" Commissioner Adam Silver said then, after the NBA's board of governors meetings. "We can be most constructive by working with elected officials to effect change."

That apparently didn't happen.

On March 23, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill into law that prevents employers and businesses from discriminating based on race, color, religion, age and "biological sex" but would allow discrimination based on sexual orientation. It also overturned an ordinance that was to go into effect in April in Charlotte that would have barred such practices and would have given those who identify as transgender the right to use public restrooms corresponding to their sexual identity.

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