Big news coming out of the NBA today. I was just sitting here, getting myself pumped up for the RNC tonight and the NBA drops this bomb on me.
Via Yahoo Sports:
“Without any movement by state legislators in North Carolina to change newly enacted laws targeted at the LGBT community, the NBA is pulling the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, league sources told The Vertical. The NBA is focused on the New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center as the host for All-Star Weekend and the All-Star Game on Feb. 19, league sources told The Vertical. For now, there are still other cities trying to lure the All-Star Game, sources said.
A formal announcement on the NBA’s withdrawal out of Charlotte is expected as soon as this week, league sources said Thursday. NBA commissioner Adam Silver had threatened to move All-Star Weekend out of Charlotte unless a discriminatory North Carolina law aimed at the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community was changed – and time to do so has run out because of the logistics and planning the NBA needs to run its marquee midseason event, league sources said.The issue is centered on North Carolina’s House Bill 2, a law that mandates transgender people use public restrooms corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificates. The law also omits LGBT people from North Carolina’s anti-discrimination protections, forbids local governments from widening LGBT protections and excludes all forms of workplace discrimination lawsuits from North Carolina state courts.”
This is big. For a few reasons. For one, the NBA taking a stand on a political issue is kind of a big push I don’t think anyone was expecting. For another, the Charlotte Hornets were 100% counting on next year’s All-Star weekend as a huge revenue push for the franchise, a blow that could absolutely cripple them. Especially because two years ago the city approved a $33.5 million price tag for renovations to the stadium over ten years. Honestly, this may be a big enough economic hit that the state may repeal their anti-LGBT laws. Which is probably the point. Regardless, the official announcement is expected from the NBA within the week.