Without any movement by state legislators in North Carolina to change newly enacted laws targeted at the LGBT community, the NBA is pulling the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, league sources told The Vertical.
The NBA is focused on the New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center as the host for All-Star Weekend and the All-Star Game on Feb. 19, league sources told The Vertical.
For now, there are still other cities trying to lure the All-Star Game, sources said.
A formal announcement on the NBA’s withdrawal out of Charlotte is expected as soon as this week, league sources said Thursday.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver had threatened to move All-Star Weekend out of Charlotte unless a discriminatory North Carolina law aimed at the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community was changed – and time to do so has run out because of the logistics and planning the NBA needs to run its marquee midseason event, league sources said.
The issue is centered on North Carolina’s House Bill 2, a law that mandates transgender people use public restrooms corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificates. The law also omits LGBT people from North Carolina’s anti-discrimination protections, forbids local governments from widening LGBT protections and excludes all forms of workplace discrimination lawsuits from North Carolina state courts.
Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan had been counting on All-Star Weekend as a signature event for his franchise, and the economic impact of losing the All-Star Game for the franchise and region promises to be dramatic.
Dramatic, you say? Yeah, try tens of millions of dollars. So guess what, North Carolina? Republicans just cost you a crapload of money and made you look like bigoted assholes in front of America.
The good news is you can fix it in November.