The NBA announced this afternoon that it has pulled the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina after the state passed the controversial ‘bathroom bill’ this past March that essentially made it illegal for transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender they identify with, a stripping back of LGBT civil rights.
From the league’s statement:
“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.”
The bill had been widely criticized by members of the LGBT community, the media, and some of the biggest names in basketball including Hall of Fame Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski just today, and has set off a series of boycotts coming from celebrities and companies like Pepsi and Whole Foods.
Although the league hinted at considering Charlotte as the host of the All-Star weekend in 2019, “provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter,” the league did not say which city would take over hosting duties for the upcoming annual weekend.
Jason Collins, the former NBA player to become the first openly gay athlete to play in any of the major American pro sports leagues released a statement on Twitter:
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) July 21, 2016
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has also released a statement blaming, “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,” on the NBA’s decision.