NBA Pulls All-Star Game From North Carolina Over Transphobic Law

The NBA has announced it will no longer hold the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte, North Carolina, due to the state’s transphobic law.

The NBA issued the following statement on Thursday, July 21, regarding the planned NBA All-Star Game in February of 2017:

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.

Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community — current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans. 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.

This is a severe blow to North Carolina’s Republican leadership. The NBA had previously warned that it had concerns about the law. Despite appearing defiant, North Carolina’s lawmakers then sought to alter the law. In reality, however, legislators did very little to change the transphobic and anti-LGBT rhetoric in HB2.

The NBA had previously indicated a desire to work with lawmakers in the state, rather than withdrawing from Charlotte. However, that position now seems to have become untenable.

The statement goes on to say that the NBA will consider rescheduling for 2019. And it specifically recognizes the city of Charlotte and the Hornets team for their inclusive attitudes reflecting the values that the NBA has tried to foster.

Readers who have followed this issue closely will recall that HB2 was passed by the legislature as an emergency reaction to Charlotte daring to create a trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Among its many anti-LGBT provisions, HB2 includes a ban on trans people using public accommodations that match their gender identity and largely refuses to recognize trans identity at all.

Following the NBA’s decision, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, echoing his tone deaf response throughout this debacle, has accused ”sports and entertainment elites” and liberals of “misrepresenting” HB2.

His statement reads:

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.

If McCrory’s tone sounds shrill, that’s likely because the governor has been caught off-guard by this decision.

The NBA seemed set to stick with North Carolina, and backing out at this juncture is a severe blow. There is a potentially large financial loss at stake — and certainly, a loss of face for Republican leadership.

By now, conservative North Carolina legislators have backed themselves into a corner. If they repeal the odious HB2, the extreme anti-LGBT factions of their party will punish them, and they will appear weak. If they do not, they face significant penalties, both financially and politically.

While North Carolina attempts to sue the federal government and stonewall the threat to withdraw federal funding while HB2 remains in effect, it is hemorrhaging support.

Police officials within the state have already said they have no way to enforce HB2. In fact, the only new support that HB2 and North Carolina seems to have garnered during this entire fight is that of the flip-flopping Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump — not exactly an endorsement that inspires pride in North Carolina’s policymaking, then.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

69 comments

John B
John B7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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william Miller
william Mabout a year ago

Thanks

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Danuta Watola
Danuta Wabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Carole R.
Carole Rabout a year ago

An informative move.

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer Habout a year ago

Good on the NBA. It may help bring some change. Mina - the NBA being the "losers" of the deal? I don't see how. They will fill their pockets no matter where they go. Charlotte is the big loser for not having the additional revenue that the all-star game brings in. You need to learn math, I think.

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Mary Crook
Mary Crookabout a year ago

Good!!!

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Jeramie D.
Jeramie Dabout a year ago

Thank you for this step in the right direction.

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timothy m.
timothy mabout a year ago

And yet, they stage preseason games in China despite its horrific human rights record. Way to be politically correct, NBA!

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Aria Spenser
Cruel Justiceabout a year ago

I'm thrilled with this decision!!!!

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