When HB2 was passed in North Carolina, it sent shock waves across the country and had a ripple effect across pretty much everything, including the NBA, who was bringing the 2017 All-Star Game to the city.
The passage of the bill, dubbed under the "religious freedom" category, blatantly allowed discrimination of almost every kind to live across the state, particularly in regards to the LGBT community. When it was passed, many in the world of sports voiced their displeasure of it, including institutions such as the CIAA and the Charlotte Hornets. Duke University took the strongest stance against HB2, calling for its repeal in a statement, making it the most prominent sports institution to take an overt stance against the law.
But the NBA, who was planning it's All-Star Weekend events in Charlotte, took a rather distant, "wait and see" approach to HB2. Said Commissioner Adam Silver at the time of the bill's passage:
"This notion that we set a deadline and then somehow we’re in the position to dictate to the community of North Carolina, ‘Change this or else,’ and then we were to say, ‘Fine, we’ll move on …’" Silver said. "We have a team that plays in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I’m not even sure what statement that would be making about that team. I think what’s next would be to say, 'Should your team be playing in Charlotte, North Carolina?' We have a playoff game there next week."
"As an outsider to North Carolina right now, the one place where I know I agree with the governor is that there’s enormous misunderstanding about this law," he said. "… I think when things settle down and legislators are together with the governor and are able to think through the implications of this law, the impact that it potentially can have on minority groups in their state, I think they will see clear to a change in the law. I’m hopeful they will."
Well the NBA refused to wait anymore as today league sources told The Vertical that it was pulling the All-Star Game out of Charlotte.
According to The Vertical, the League is looking at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans as the new host location but that other cities are also appealing to the League to host the weekend.
A formal announcement on the move is expected this week according to these league sources.
This is a huge blow to Michael Jordan and the Hornets, as well as to the economic windfall expected by the city from the weekend's activities. But it's the right move and it will be interesting to see if organizations such as the CIAA, which hosts the CIAA Tournament in the city, follows suit.
For the full story, read here.