The NBA has decided to pull the 2017 NBA All-Star Game out of Charlotte and is now looking at New Orleans as a potential replacement, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the Vertical podcast. The news comes as a result of the controversial House Bill 2 that North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law in March.
NEW: NBA announces it will relocate 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, NC, citing “bathroom bill” HB 2 pic.twitter.com/sxxY2PsKLv
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 21, 2016
The Charlotte Observer describes House Bill 2 as follows.
“Transgender people who have not taken surgical and legal steps to change the gender noted on their birth certificates have no legal right under state law to use public restrooms of the gender with which they identify. Cities and counties no longer can establish a different standard. Critics of the Charlotte ordinance cite privacy concerns and say it was ‘social engineering’ to allow people born as biological males to enter women’s restrooms.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has repeatedly warned the city of Charlotte that the 2017 All-Star Game could be moved to another location if the bill was not repealed. After giving McCrory ample time to change his mind, Silver followed through on his promise on Thursday by pulling the All-Star Game out of North Carolina
Wojnarowski is reporting that Silver and the NBA are now looking at the weekend of February 19, 2017, as the date to have the All-Star Game in New Orleans. Nothing has been made official, and there are reportedly other cities trying to lure the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN is reporting that Chicago and New York/Brooklyn have also emerged as options for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.
Last week, at the NBA board of governors meeting in Las Vegas, Silver was asked about the status of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.
“We were frankly hoping that they would make some steps toward modifying the legislation, and frankly I was disappointed that they didn’t.”
Back in April, Silver showed his concern not only for having the All-Star Game in Charlotte but also for the fans of the Charlotte Hornets.
“The issue for us, and maybe this is different than where some of the other businesses find themselves in North Carolina, is that we have a team in North Carolina, and that distinction, for example, between the All-Star Game and the regular operation of a team is not clear to me,” Silver said. “I’m not sure what statement we’d be making about our team in North Carolina, if we now announced that the All-Star Game would not take place in North Carolina but our team continued to operate there.”
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 21, 2016
On July 12, Silver added, “The question for us becomes in this situation, given the controversy, given the amount of discussion, given how hardened the views are there, is this the place we should be in February 2017 as the epicenter of global basketball where we can go and celebrate our game and our values?”
Apparently, Thursday was the end of the line for the NBA in the waiting game with the state of North Carolina. It’s unfortunate for the residents and businesses of Charlotte who will reportedly miss out on upwards of $100 million in revenue that would’ve been created by the All-Star Game, not to mention the amount of jobs that would’ve become available as the game drew near.
Kudos to Silver for standing up and doing something drastic. He didn’t agree with the law that North Carolina passed, and he took a stand. It’s unfortunate for the state of North Carolina and its businesses, but Silver sent one heck of a message by pulling the 2017 NBA All-Star Game out of Charlotte.
[Photo by Jeff Chiu/AP Images]