NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Thursdaythat the 2017 All-Star Game will be moved out of Charlotte if North Carolina does not change its controversial law.
He called it "problematic" forthe league to moveforward with the game, scheduled for Feb. 17,if there is not a change in the law, according to ESPN. The sports network reported that Silverhas "applied direct pressure" but has not yet given an ultimatum.
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"We've been, I think, crystal clear that we believe 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 at an Associated Press meeting for sports editors onThursday.
The law, signed by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on March 24, bans people of thetransgender community from using public bathrooms that don'tcorrespond to their biological sex, CNN stated.
A March 24 tweet byMcCroryreads, "Ordinance defied common sense, allowing men to use women's bathroom/locker room for instance. That's why I signed bipartisan bill to stop it."
ESPN reported that Silver sees a bigger issue than just theAll-Star Game: the Charlotte Hornets. He and the leaguefaced criticism for not moving the game out of North Carolina sooner,but he said it caused problemsto do that and then have the Hornets host their homeplayoff game, according to NBA.com.
"I'm only saying that whatever we do, we have to keep an eye on the fact that we have one of our 30 franchises operating in that state," Silver said on ESPN's Mike & Mike on Thursday. "We have a much bigger issue in North Carolina than the All-Star Game: It's the ongoing operation of our team."
The NBA's announcement is just the latest in the backlash of this law. Several musicians, such as Bruce Springsteen and former Beatles drummer RingoStarr, have canceledtheir North Carolina shows in boycott of the law,according to the New York Times.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and the Los Angeles City Council have enacted policies that ban all nonessential, publicly funded travel to North Carolina and Mississippi, which also passed a discriminatory LGBT law. Both states are predicting millions of dollars in tourism loss, the New York Times reported.