Scroll To Top

Atlanta Looks to Block North Carolina's 2017 NBA All-Star Game

Atlanta Looks to Block North Carolina's 2017 NBA All-Star Game

Atlanta City Council President Caesar Mitchell

Atlanta’s city council spoke out against North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law, asking the NBA to reconsider Charlotte as the host city for the 2017 All-Star Game.

Local lawmakers in Atlanta asked the NBA on Tuesday to let their city host the 2017 All-Star Game, instead of proceeding with the game's scheduled location in Charlotte, N.C.

Atlanta positioned itself as the welcoming alternative to any venue in North Carolina, where Republican Gov. Pat McCrory recently signed a sweeping anti-LGBT bill that not only overturns all LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policies in the state, but also requires transgender people to use public restrooms and locker rooms that do not correspond with their gender identity.

After Gov. McCrory signed the bill into law -- less than 24 hours after it was introduced in a special legislative session -- the NBA publicly spoke out against it.

Atlanta City Council President Caesar Mitchell suggested that Atlanta take Charlotte's place as the host of the annual game, touting his city as a welcoming tourist spot and home to several pro-LGBT Fortune 500 companies:

The City of Atlanta draws strength from our diverse community. This unity creates our city's embracing spirit, a quality that has made Atlanta the destination of choice for numerous international business conventions, professional and college sporting events, as well as one of the largest concentrations of Fortune 500 companies in the nation. We would certainly welcome the opportunity to show that very spirit as the host of the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend.

McCroy's office was quick to fire back a response, reminding Atlanta's leaders that North Carolina wasn't the only location enacting such reactionary anti-LGBT policies.

"Thankfully no college team from Georgia made the Final Four again this year," said a statement from McCrory's communications director Josh Ellis. "Otherwise, the Atlanta City Council would have to boycott the City of Houston where voters overwhelmingly rejected a bathroom ordinance that was nearly identical to the one rejected by State of North Carolina."

"We appreciate the invitation but are hopeful that the city of Charlotte and the state of North Carolina can work through their differences far in advance of the 2017 All-Star Game," said NBA spokesman Mike Bass.

This is not the first time major corporations have shown disapproval of North Carolina's new law. Several businesses have denounced the anti-LGBT law, which was created as a direct response to Charlotte's City Council passing a trans-inclusive public accommodations ordinance in February.

The growing business-based backlash to North Carolina's law has some local leaders worried about the impact on North Carolina's tourism industry.

"This issue is in danger of setting us back from the progress we've made in positioning Charlotte as an attractive, inclusive destination," stated Tom Murray, CEO of Charlotte's Regional Visitors Authority.

Just days after Gov. McCrory signed his state's anti-LGBT legislation, Georgia's Republican governor on Monday vetoed similarly discriminatory "religious freedom" legislation, after facing severe pressure from major corporations and sports leagues, including the NFL.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Aashna Malpani