NBA strips All-Star game from Charlotte due to LGBT law

By iSportconnect | July 22, 2016


The NBA has stripped Charlotte of the NBA All-Star game, citing a law in the city’s state of North Carolina that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

It is the first time a major sporting event has been stripped from a city because of the treatment of the LGBT community.

The NBA has continually outlined its opposition to the law, known as HB2, since it was introduced in March, and the NBA’s decision comes less than a month after state legislators decided not to change it. 

The league said in a 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.”

“Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community – current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans. While we recognise 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.”

Concerns over HB2 have been raised by a number of sports bodies. The law states that transgender people must use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in many public buildings. It also excludes sexual orientation and gender identity from anti discrimination protections related to the workplace, hotels and restaurants.

The NBA said it would seek to reschedule Charlotte’s All-Star Game for 2019 provided there is an “appropriate resolution” to the matter. The league will announce a new host for next February’s event shortly.

North Carolina’s Governor, Pat McCrory, responded to the NBA announcement by stating: “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.”