NBA takes 2017 All-Star Game away from Charlotte Hornets

Sean McCarthy,
Staff Writer

The National Basketball Association and Golden State Warriors executives took a firm stance against North Carolina and its HB2 law on July 21. They decided to move the All-Star Game to another city, which is still undetermined, according to an official statement from the NBA and current commissioner Adam Silver.

North Carolina came under fire in March when it proposed HB2 — the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act — to force transgender people to use bathrooms based on the sex assigned to them at birth rather than the gender they identify with.

On March 24, the day after HB2 was passed, the NBA released a statement about inclusivity and said that the discriminatory law runs counter to the NBA’s “principles,” according to Silver.

HB2 also states that people may not use state courts to sue in regards to discrimination; instead, they would need to go through the federal court systems. The law was passed 83-24 by the General Assembly of North Carolina and Gov. Pat McCrory.

Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts, an openly gay man, told a crowd of 70 league executives and team personnel at the NBA’s end of the Summer League meeting that if the All-Star Game was held in N.C., he would not feel comfortable there. He also said after speaking to other people who identify as LGBTQ within the NBA community, half of them said they would not feel comfortable in the state either.

I think that’s not tolerable. Nowhere,” Warriors superstar Stephen Curry said in a postgame press conference May 27.And it just sucks that it’s in my home state, where there are a lot of great people there.” Curry grew up in North Carolina and his father Dell Curry is a former player turned announcer for the Charlotte Hornets. Curry had previously been unclear on the actual legislature in HB2, but stated discrimination is wrong, no matter what.

According to multiple ESPN reports, the league has not selected a new host site for the 2017 game; however, New Orleans, Chicago and Atlanta were among the places mentioned.

The NBA released an official statement on July 24 that said, ”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 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.”