The 2017 NBA All-Star Game could be on the move thanks to controversial legislation passed today in North Carolina regarding LGBT rights.
Charlotte is schedule to host the All-Star festivities next year, but the NBA released a statement Thursday night saying it is reconsidering this in light of the aforementioned legislation.
NBA Statement Regarding Legislation Recently Signed Into Law In North Carolina pic.twitter.com/xwoOo9MyeR
— NBA (@NBA) March 24, 2016
The bill in question was signed into law today and prevents individual North Carolina cities and counties from passing their own anti-discrimination legislation. State Republicans scheduled a special one-day session just to get the bill passed. The move led to State Senate Democrats walking out of the chambers in protest of the bill.
The special session was deemed necessary by republicans in order to block a city of Charlotte ordinance that would allow transgendered people to use the restroom of the gender they identify with. The ordinance was scheduled to go in effect on April 1, hence the rush to pass the bill in a single-day, special session.
A prominent North Carolina advocacy group called the measure, “The worst anti-LGBT bill in the entire nation.”
Commissioner Adam Silver was applauded for his prompt response to the Donald Sterling fiasco back in 2014, and the NBA has a chance to make waves in yet another social justice issue with how it handles this situation.
After Jason Collins became the first active openly-gay athlete in one of the four major American professional sports in 2013, Silver told the New York Post he felt professional sports had fallen behind the times on the issue.
“I have mixed feelings, because I’m enormously proud that the first openly gay player is playing in the NBA,” Silver told The Post in a phone interview prior to Sunday’s game. “On the other hand, this is so long overdue that I don’t think this should necessarily be on the list of the greatest accomplishments of the NBA.
“This is an area where no one in sports should be too proud. Sports has led society in so many critical areas … this is one where we fell behind.”
Many media members took to Twitter to express their displeasure with the North Carolina ruling and throw their support behind the idea of moving game from Charlotte.
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) March 24, 2016
NBA should take an All-Star stand against North Carolina's new anti-LGBT law https://t.co/1EW0GpDg0J
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) March 24, 2016
Dear NBA… Do the right thing and stand up for what you believe in… pull the All-Star Game out of Charlotte.
— Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) March 24, 2016
Silver has built up a lot of goodwill during his time as commissioner, and it does not seem like this statement is just traditional lip service. Silver has previously demonstrated he is willing to back up his words with action, and it would not be a surprise to see the NBA actually uproot its mid-season showcase in the name of civil rights.