While North Carolina’s recently passed anti-LGBT law is problematic, the NBA isn’t currently planning to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, commissioner Adam Silver said Friday.
“It would be easy to say we’re moving it,” he said at a press conference in New York City after the spring meeting of the league’s board of governors, according to CNN. “We feel there's a constructive role for the league to play. If we announce we’re moving it now, what’s the incentive to change the law?”
At the board of governors’ meeting, there was “no discussion of moving the All-Star Game,” he said. “What the view in the room was: We should be working toward change.”
The law, House Bill 2, was passed in March and nullifies LGBT-inclusive municipal antidiscrimination ordinances, like one enacted by Charlotte in February, while preventing cities and counties from enacting new ones. It also bars transgender people from using the restrooms, locker rooms, and other single-sex facilities that match their gender identity, if those facilities are in government buildings, including public schools. And it prohibits residents from filing discrimination suits in state court.
The NBA had tweeted a message of concern shortly after the law was passed, and a diverse selection of people, including U.S. senators and retired NBA great Charles Barkley, have urged that the All-Star Game be moved. The game provides a huge economic boost to its host city.
After the press conference, the NBA released a statement emphasizing that while there is not yet a decision on moving the game, that doesn’t mean North Carolina can rest easy. “At no time did Adam affirm that the league would not move the All-Star Game; rather he stressed repeatedly that the legislation is problematic, that we feel it is best to engage with the community to work towards a solution, that change is needed and we are hopeful that it will occur,” the statement said.
There will be at least one big basketball event in Charlotte, beginning today. The Charlotte Hornets are hosting the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.