Controversy over North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ legislation has cost the state yet another high profile event.
The NBA says it’s pulling its 2017 All Star game from Charlotte, in opposition to state law HB-2.
That bill, enacted in March, blocks cities from allowing transgender people to use bathrooms other than those matching the sex on their birth certificate.
In a statement released today the league says its week long event is meant to be a “global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand.”
It describes those as including “diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others.”
The league says it is sorry to upset North Carolina fans, and that the move is not meant as a slight to the Charlotte Hornets or the city itself, which it says have both tried to provide an inclusive environment.
But it says the decision is final.
“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.”
The NBA says it will make an announcement in coming weeks about a new location for the All Star week, and that there is the possibility the event could return to Charlotte in 2019.
It’s just the latest in a string of expensive hits for the city over the law, but perhaps the costliest.
The University of Toronto estimates the 2015 All Star game, held in New York, brought that city about $100-million in economic activity.
Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr, Cirque du Soleil, and a slew of other high profile acts have cancelled shows in the state over HB-2, and earlier this year the Lionsgage TV show Crushed packed up and moved production to Vancouver for the same reason.
Earlier this month, a high profile NCAA basketball game between Duke and Albany was also scrapped.