Sports

NBA says Charlotte is eligible to host 2019 All-Star Game

NBA says Charlotte is eligible to host 2019 All-Star Game”

The NBA says it will likely return its All-Star Game to Charlotte, North Carolina, after lawmakers repealed the state's bathroom bill.

Adam Silver at this year's All-Star game. "It doesn't mean we won't resolve it", Silver said.

"We are encouraged that the National Basketball Association expects to award its 2019 All-Star Game to North Carolina and that it shares our long-held belief that private businesses, including potential host venues, have every right to expand on federal non-discrimination policies however they wish".

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The NBA's Charlotte Hornets issued a statement that the team would work with the league on returning the event, adding that "our city, our fans and our business community remain extremely enthusiastic in support of hosting".

Speaking to the media during a break from the meetings, Silver expressed the league's opinion that the fundamental issues the league has with North Carolina's "bathroom law" that requires people to use the restrooms that match the sex designated on their birth certificates remain intact. He says it's "not a done deal" that Charlotte will get the game, because the league would need assurances of anti-discriminatory policies for venues that would host its events and hotels they would use. The NBA said the legislation ran contrary to its values and moved the game to New Orleans in response.

"It's not a done deal yet", Silver said. Los Angeles hosts the game in 2018. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority estimated the yanked event would have generated about $100 million in economic impact. Indeed, news of the fake repeal was met with a huge national outcry from major civil rights organizations, including HRC, Equality North Carolina, the National Center for Transgender Equality, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Voto Latino, The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; corporations including IBM, Salesforce, Dow and Levi's; and celebrities like Ellen Page, Jane Fonda, Janet Mock, Tegan and Sara, Montel Williams, Rob Reiner, Jason Collins, Martina Navratilova and Raymond Braun. It's incremental change. We were part of the movement, pushing for that change.

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The law that replaced HB2 prevents local governments from adopting LGBT anti-discrimination measures until 2020.

And after a compromise between the Republican-controlled legislature and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper recently passed, the league has followed the NCAA in saying it's willing to return future events to the state.

The replacement law is an "important step forward in protecting people from discrimination and bringing jobs and sports back to North Carolina and helping to fix our reputation", Cooper said last week. "It's not everything we could have hoped for, but we're prepared to go back". Unfortunately, Governor Roy Cooper's back-room deal with Republican leadership in the General Assembly now prevents North Carolina cities from meeting non-discrimination requirements.

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