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NBA will move 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte after North Carolina fails to repeal anti-LGBTQ law

The NBA is making good on its promise to relocate the game if an anti-LGBTQ law was not repealed.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is moving the 2017 All-Star weekend from Charlotte due to North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ legislation, The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported. The league confirmed the news in a statement and said they will try to bring the All-Star Game back to Charlotte in 2019 "provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter."

"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," the league announced. "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 [the HB2 legislation]."

Here is the full statement:

The league said an announcement about the new location of the 2017 All-Star Game will come shortly. New Orleans is the front-runner to host the event, according to Wojnarowski. New Orleans also hosted the event in 2008 and 2014.

The decision is not surprising, considering the NBA had made its position clear on the issue earlier in the year. After North Carolina rushed to pass what came to be known as "the bathroom bill" because it nullified a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed transgender people to use restrooms that match their gender identity, the NBA expressed its concern over it by releasing the following official statement in late March:

"The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events. We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte."

On April 21, commissioner Adam Silver implied that the game would be relocated unless the law was changed, saying at the Associated Press Sports Editors' commissioner meetings that the league had been "crystal clear" that a change to the law was necessary. Then he also referred to the topic on ESPN's Mike & Mike radio show, according to the Charlotte Observer:

"They know what's at stake in terms of the All-Star Game. But at least at the moment, constructive engagement on our part is the best way to go as opposed to putting a gun to their head and saying ‘do this or else.'"

After admitting that the league was looking for alternatives during the NBA Finals, the commissioner addressed the issue again during Summer League, saying that the law was "inconsistent with the values of the league," according to

There was some hope that the change the league was seeking was coming, as a bill to repeal the law was introduced after outcry from the public and boycotts from businesses. Instead, the bill only received a minor change that didn't address the concerns about discrimination based on gender or religious beliefs. With the law essentially intact, it's not a surprise that the NBA has decided to change venues for the All-Star game, as it had anticipated.

In its most recent statement, the league confirmed that it, along with the Hornets themselves, have been working to "foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change."

It's an unfortunate situation for the city of Charlotte, as the state law that will cost them the All-Star weekend not only didn't originate there, but it came as a response to pro-LGBTQ legislation passed by the city.

For more details on the law and the process that led to its passing, visit our friends at, who have covered the topic and its implications extensively.