NBA All Star Game Being Moved; Was Originally Scheduled in Charlotte, NC
The NBA announced Thursday that it will no longer hold their All-Star weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina among the controversy surrounding a pending law that could eliminate anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
The NBA is one of many businesses, festivals and artists that have pulled venues from North Carolina in the recent months since the bill was signed by Governor Pat McCrory, including Ringo Starr. McCrory released a statement saying “Families should be on notice that the corporate elite are imposing their will by passing the legal and democratic process.”
The NBA continues to be outspoken about recent social issues with many of their athletes speaking out on different events that have captivated the country. Removing the All-Star game from a city is their biggest move yet, polarizing the public into equal praise and condemnation. “We do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created,” the NBA’s official statement about the matter read.
Amid protest and disapproval from business leaders and some advocacy groups, the law’s supporters have not backed down and contend that it is about public safety and not discrimination. The United States Department of Justice has called it a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The issue will be taken to court in August to determine whether or not the law should be blocked until the litigation has been completed.
The NBA also stated that the All-Star Game could return to Charlotte as early as 2019 as long as changes to the legislation are made. The statement said the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets are trying to bolster efforts for both sides to come together and “effect positive change.” The new site of the All-Star Game will be announced in a few weeks.
Amid the disappointment for losing the event Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Jennifer Roberts was quoted saying “Charlotte has shown its commitment to equal rights and inclusion and will continue to promote those values.” Not all sporting events have pulled from the Charlotte area. The ACC Football Championship will still be held there in December and in 2017 a Sprint Cup Race and PGA Championship are scheduled.
Some have theorized that if the law does not change then the NBA’s decision could have a trickle down effect, effectively paving the way for more sporting events to move out of North Carolina. Phil Sheppard, a state Representative, was quoted saying, “Our values are not shaped by the NBA. We’re standing strong.”
Rumors have started to circulate the the All-Star Weekend will be moved to New Orleans.
(NBA All Star Game Being Moved)