The NBA and the Hornets on Thursday came out against the proposed changes to a controversial bill before the North Carolina legislature, although the league reiterated that no decision has been made on the fate of the 2017 All-Star weekend scheduled for Charlotte.
Lawmakers in the state are debating revisions to House Bill 2, the so-called Bathroom Bill that ignited a national firestorm of debate after being passed in March. The NBA has been vocal in its opposition to the law for hurting the LGBT community and said it is working behind the scenes to get aspects of HB2 changed.
The joint statement from the the league and the Hornets said:
“We have been engaged in dialogue with numerous groups at the city and state levels, but we do not endorse the version of the bill that we understand is currently before the legislature. We remain committed to our guiding principles of inclusion, mutual respect and equal protections for all. We continue to believe that constructive engagement with all sides is the right path forward. There has been no new decision made regarding the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.”
Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier in the month that the league has started to look into alternative sites. He purposely avoided announcing a drop-dead date for a decision, but did say at a press conference before Game 1 of the Finals in Oakland that “I don’t see us getting past this summer without knowing definitely where we stand.”
“We’ve been, I think, crystal clear a change in the law is necessary for us to play in the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event,” Silver said in April during a meeting with The Associated Press Sports Editors.
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, citing economic impact studies of past All-Star weekends, said the event could be worth up to $100 million, the Charlotte Observer reported.