Since North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed the discriminatory HB2 into law in March, the NBA has publicly warned that the 2017 All-Star Game may be moved from Charlotte if lawmakers fail to roll back HB2’s vile anti-LGBTQ provisions. During a press conference on Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said decision would come “soon.”
“We’re not prepared to make a decision today,” Silver said. “But we recognize the calendar is not our friend. February is quickly approaching, especially in terms of big events like the All-Star games if we’re going to make alternative plans.”
Last week, tech industry leaders sent a letter to Silver urging the league to move its 2017 All Star Game unless North Carolina legislators repeal the discriminatory HB2 law “in very short order,” the Associated Press reported. The letter, signed by leaders including those from SV Angel, Google, Reddit, Paypal, Lyft, and Pinterest, asserted that, "If the NBA holds events in North Carolina while HB2 remains law, players, employees, and fans will be at risk of discrimination -- and that's wrong."
NBA TV Analyst Charles Barkley has spoken publicly against HB2, even threatening to boycott the game if HB2 isn’t repealed or if the game isn’t moved out of Charlotte.
HRC has been on the ground in North Carolina for months working toward repeal of the discriminatory HB2 law alongside Equality NC and other grassroots advocates. The state’s general assembly adjourned its short session last week after refusing to fully repeal the law, and is not scheduled to reconvene until January -- leaving tens of thousands of people at risk in the interim. Despite widespread opposition to the law, the general assembly has been unwilling even to consider repealing the worst anti-LGBTQ components of the law, including its ban on transgender people accessing restrooms consistent with their gender identity in government offices and schools and its removal of municipalities’ ability to pass LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination laws.