The 2017 All-Star Game will be played somewhere other than North Carolina next February, relocated in keeping with the NBA’s stance on a controversial state law it believes discriminates against members of the LGBT community.
In its statement, the league hopes to reschedule All-Star Weekend in Charlotte in 2019, presumably after some changes in or a repeal of North Carolina’s House Bill 2, commonly referred to as the “bathroom law.”
“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,” the league’s statement read. “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.”
A new location for the event and all the surrounding festivities will be announced in the coming weeks, the NBA said. Cities that were rumored almost immediately as destinations included New Orleans and Orlando.
As framed by opponents of the law, it discriminates against people who would use public restrooms and locker rooms based on their self-defined gender identity. HB2, written and passed to counter a specific policy in Charlotte supporting such use of facilities, requires people to use public restrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their biological gender. Supporters of HB2 cite privacy and safety concerns.