N.C. May Lose NBA All-Star Game Bid After Passing Anti-LGBT Bill
The National Basketball Association expressed concern Thursday over a new law in North Carolina that removes LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances across the state.
House Bill 2 overturns city nondiscrimination ordinances in the state, such as one recently adopted in Charlotte that, among other things, would allow transgender people to use the public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. In addition, it eliminates all ordinances regulating wages. Its passage came in a special session called in order to deal with Charlotte's trans-inclusive public accommodations ordinance. In North Carolina, the state legislature has the power to override city ordinances.
In response to House Bill 2, the NBA released a statement via Twitter, denouncing the bill:
NBA Statement Regarding Legislation Recently Signed Into Law In North Carolina pic.twitter.com/xwoOo9MyeR
— NBA (@NBA) March 24, 2016
The All-Star game was planned to be held in Charlotte in February of 2017, and is part of a three-day tournament hosted annually by the league. In the game, players of the Eastern Conference are pitted against players of the Western Conference.
"The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events," the league said on Twitter. "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."
It was supposed to be a profitable business venture for the city because it was to be the first All-Star game hosted in Charlotte in 26 years. The game was awarded to the city in a competitive bid against other NBA teams, but that may not be in jeorpardy because of the passing of anti-LGBT House Bill 2.
LGBT groups and businesses in North Carolina have decried the bill. American Airlines, which has its second-biggest hub at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, said, "“We believe no individual should be discriminated against because of gender identity or sexual orientation." Microsoft, Wells Fargo, and Apple, among other businesses signed a joint statement, arguing that anti-LGBT bills are bad for the local economy, reports The Charlotte Observer.
“Corporate leaders are speaking out against bills that could allow individuals and businesses to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and other minorities—versions of which are actively being considered in states across the country,” the statement read. “This proposed legislation is bad for business.”