The NBA is taking its game away from Charlotte and going somewhere else – all because North Carolina passed a law refusing to allow men to use the women’s restrooms.
The NBA’s February 19, 2017 all-star game is rumored to be headed for New Orleans, although that is not confirmed yet.
North Carolina’s “Bathroom law”, known as HB2, was enacted in March, specifying that everyone must use the bathroom that relates to their biological gender. Those opposing the law claim it limits “anti-discrimination protection” for LGBT people. The NBA has been in opposition to the 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 public statement.
They left the door open for 2019, likely believing North Carolina will have changed its policy by that time.
In April, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told the Associated Press Sports Editors meeting that that the league had been “crystal clear” that the law needed to be changed to create “the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event.”
“We are disappointed that Commissioner Silver has decided to cancel the League’s commitment to the City of Charlotte, the Charlotte Hornets, and the people of North Carolina over the League’s desire to give in to the bullying by radical left-wing groups like the Human Rights Campaign and Equality NC,” said Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of NC Values Coalition in a statement.
“The League has decided that advancing a political agenda that embraces allowing grown men into the bathrooms and showers of young girls is more important than protecting the privacy and safety of their fans,” her statement continued.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory reacted to the NBA’s decision with a statement that said multiple groups had “misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina” for months.
“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,” he said.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said she was “deeply disappointed” the HB2 bill caused the NBA to move February’s game.
“All-Star Weekend would have provided an excellent opportunity to further showcase our great and welcoming city,” she said in a statement. “Charlotte has shown its commitment to equal rights and inclusion and will continue to promote those values.”
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