NBA relocates All-Star Game from Charlotte due to anti-LGBT law; New Orleans likely replacement
After threatening to pull the 2017 All-Star festivities from Charlotte unless a North Carolina law was rescinded or reformed, the NBA made good on its promise. The league has confirmed that they will relocate the midseason classic from Charlotte after North Carolina legislators did not take any further action regarding House Bill 2 (HB2).
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HB2, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, has been referred to by some as the most anti-LGBT law in the US. One major portion of the law is that in government buildings, people may only use the restrooms which correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificates. This means that transgenders cannot use the restroom that is equivalent to their gender identity, unless they undergo sex reassignment.
The NBA was very clear that HB2 was the reason they are pulling the All-Star Weekend from Charlotte. In a statement posted on NBA.com, the league announced that they “do not believe [they] can successfully host [their] All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.” The league also stressed their core values of “diversity, fairness and respect for others.” The NBA also hinted that they might let Charlotte host the 2019 All-Star Weekend, provided that there would be an “appropriate resolution” to HB2.
The likely replacement city to host this season’s festivities will be New Orleans, according to The Vertical. The league is focused on the Pelicans’ home city although it has not been finalized yet. Other cities are still trying to get the league to consider them in hopes of being this season’s host, mainly due to the economic impact for the team and the city itself. The league had also briefly discussed moving the All-Star festivities to Las Vegas but schedule conflicts with the new T-Mobile Arena prevented them from seriously considering it.
League sources say that the decision to pull out was made this early because of the large number of logistical and planning requirements needed. The city of New Orleans last hosted the All-Star Weekend just two years ago. The NBA is set to officially make an announcement of the replacement city in the weeks to come.