The 2017 All-Star Game will be moved from Charlotte, according to NBA.
The move comes after the league’s disinclination to support the North Carolina House Bill 2, which has been a subject of criticism for being anti-LGBT.
North Carolina’s General Assembly, which met for its last session of the year earlier this month, did not repeal the bill. This prompted NBA to make the decision to move the game.
The bill disallows transgender people from using washrooms of the gender with which they identify.
New Orleans is seen as a primary consideration to host the 2017 game, as reported by ESPN. Others cities like Chicago and New York/Brooklyn are also being considered as options. State protections in Louisiana, Illinois and New York are not discriminatory against LGBT people, with legislation that was passed this year.
NBA said in a statement it hopes the game can be scheduled in Charlotte in 2019. “Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change,” the league said.
NBA Commission Adam Silver received a letter signed by company executives of Google, Reddit and PayPal, among others, to move the game from North Carolina, as reported by ABC News.
“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,” the letter said. “The NBA has nothing to lose by taking a stand alongside hundreds of other companies and showing support for its LGBTQ players, employees, and fans.”
Stephen Curry said he was disappointed the game had been moved but understood the reason behind it. “We support [the decision],” he added, “but at the end of the day, I love Charlotte. I love the city.” Curry grew up in Charlotte and his father played for the Hornets.