Recent anti-LGBT legislation in North Carolina could impact the NBA’s ability to host the 2017 All-Star game in Charlotte, the league announced Thursday.
“The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events,” the statement reads. “We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte.”
North Carolina’s new law, passed on Wednesday less than 10 hours after its introduction to the legislature, requires public school and university students to use public bathrooms according to the gender on their birth certificate.
In February, the Charlotte city council passed an LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance allowing transgender people to use public facilities based on the gender with which they identify, which was set to go into effect April 1 but revoked after North Carolina governor Pat McCrory signed the new state-level legislation on Wednesday night. The bill also denies state municipalities from introducing new LGBT protection measures in response, such as building multi-stall transgender bathrooms. Only transgender people whose biological sex has been changed on their birth certificate are exempt under the new law.
The 2017 All-Star weekend is set to take place at Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the Charlotte Hornets.
Presumably in response to the law’s passing, the Hornets released a statement on Friday saying the team stands against all types of discrimination.
“The Charlotte Hornets and Hornets Sports & Entertainment are opposed to discrimination in any form, and we have always sought to provide an inclusive environment,” the statement said. “As has been the case since the building opened, we will continue to ensure that all fans, players and employees feel welcome while at work or attending NBA games and events at Time Warner Cable Arena.”
The NCAA also released a statement on the matter. NCAA tournament games are set for Greensboro in 2017 and Charlotte in 2018.
“Our commitment to the fair treatment of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, has not changed,” the NCAA’s statement reads. “It is our expectation that all people will be welcomed and treated with respect in cities that host our NCAA championships and events.”
The Carolina Hurricanes play at PNC Arena in Raleigh and issued the following statement:
“The Carolina Hurricanes and PNC Arena are dedicated to providing a welcoming and respectful environment for all fans. We stand against all forms of descrimination.”
The NBA announced Thursday the 2018 game will be held in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.