It is arguably the hottest topic in America today. Concerts have been canceled, businesses pulling out of commitments and for sports fans, the possibility of losing a league’s premier midseason event in the state’s largest city.
For Adam Silver, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association, he is faced with having to withdraw the 2017 NBA All Star Game out of Charlotte which would be a devastating financial blow to the Queen City for the money already invested and the revenue it would ultimately lose.
Silver and team owners will meet on Friday to address North Carolina’s HB2, a law that limits the legal protections of LGBT individuals. Some have called it legalized discrimination. It is a regularly scheduled board of governors meetings and HB2 is just one of the agendas to be discussed.
The NBA has stated that it is “deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect.” However, the league had to shoot down reports from, bogus websites that a decision had already been made to pull the game out of Charlotte. Atlanta publically said they want the game moved to their city.
Charlotte has already spent millions in upgrades and renovations to Time Warner Cable Arena, the home of the Charlotte Hornets, to host the game for the first time in 26 years. The city and team are also invested in preparations leading up to the multi-day event.
Just last month the Hornets secured 15 local sponsors that helped fill a $1.5 million private-sector funding gap. The economic impact from the game and related activities is estimated to be $100 million, according to the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
HB2 came under fire almost immediately upon it being signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory. Opponents were outraged at the speed in which the bill was passed and McCrory’s executive order to “clarify” certain aspects of it was also rejected.
The original ordinance, passed in Charlotte as a city measure, was being debated to take one provision out, what is now commonly referred to as The Bathroom Bill. Before any decision was made to leave or remove that single provision, North Carolina took the unprecedented step to nullify the Queen City’s ordinance and made a statewide law that went far beyond anything the LGBTQ community could have imagined, virtually overnight.
A number of individuals such as a few NBA owners, basketball commentators and United States Senators have urged the league to pull the game out of the state.
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