Skip to main content

NBA releases statement on decision to move All-Star Game

Vincent Frank
Courtesy of USA Today Images

The NBA announced on Thursday that it will move the 2017 All-Star Game from North Carolina. It’s a decision that’s been a long time coming, and has set up widespread debate around the basketball world.

Based solely on a North Carolina law that discriminates against the LGBT community — specifically the transgender population being required to use restrooms in public buildings and schools that match the sex on their birth certificate and not their gender identity — the NBA released a statement explaining its decision.

“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 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.”

The issue of the NBA’s All-Star Game potentially being moved from North Carolina has been on the table since the law’s passage in March. During that process, the Association and commissioner Adam Silver have made it clear that barring a change in the law, the game itself would be moved.

Though, the ultimate decision took over four months. Based on the NBA’s press release, that time was spent talking to leaders within the construct of the state of North Carolina.

Apparently, nothing was worked out over these past several months, forcing the NBA’s hand.

“We are particularly mindful of the impact of our decision on our fans in North Carolina, who are among the most passionate in our league,” the statement continued. “It is also important to stress that the city of Charlotte and the Hornets organization have sought to provide an inclusive environment and that the Hornets will continue to ensure that all patrons — including members of the LGBT community — feel welcome while attending games and events in their arena.”

The overwhelming takeaway from this statement is that the NBA did not feel comfortable holding its All-Star festivities in an environment where certain fans wouldn’t have the same rights as others.

What you want to take away from this yourself is completely up to you. Though, we now know where the NBA itself stands on the entire idea of inclusion and equal rights.

Here’s the full statement.

This report has been updated.