After months of speculation and friendly suggestions that North Carolina should alter their controversial House Bill 2, the NBA has been left with no choice but to pull the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte.
The NBA is moving the event because of its objection to North Carolina HB2, which virtually strips anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people in the state.
The League released a lengthy statement that explains their difficult decision and if the bill is reversed, they hope to bring the All-Star weekend to Charlotte in 2019 after Los Angeles hosts in 2018.
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"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 league said. "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.
"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. 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 HB2."
ESPN believe that New Orleans is the front runner to replace Charlotte, but Chicago and both Brooklyn and New York remain possibilities, too.
North Carolina governor Pat McCrory was clearly disappointed with the NBA's decision and he said that multiple groups had "misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina" for months.
Essentially, the governor believes corporate businesses have abused their power and the people of Charlotte - and North Carolina as a whole - are suffering as a result.
Although there are many facets to the bill that made the All-Star week untenable, the core of the problem revolved around the fact that transgender and gay people had no rights against discrimination in the state. Transgender people would also be forced to go to the toilet of their birth gender, not current identity.
The NBA is a global powerhouse that is rich in diversity and accepting of all cultures. That sounds like a line fed from the league, but when you look at all the different players that comprise the Association and the variety of fans worldwide, there is no room for discrimination of any kind. The NBA clearly refuses to endorse that.
Hopefully, the HB2 will be reversed and everyone can be equal in North Carolina once again.