The NBA is pulling the 2017 NBA All-Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina because of the state’s anti-LGBT law, it announced Thursday.
The league had previously said it would consider moving the game if North Carolina did not address its “bathroom bill,” which, among other things, mandates that people use the public bathroom that corresponds to their birth sex. That prevents transgender individuals from using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.
The NBA released a statement saying it hopes to have the game in North Carolina in 2019, provided the state change its laws by then. It expressed disappointment that the laws have not changed in time for the game, but said it maintains a commitment to making games accessible to everyone.
“Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community — current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans,” the statement reads. “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 is now “focused” on relocating the game to New Orleans, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported the news ahead of the official announcement. The NBA’s statement indicated that the league would announce a new location for the game in the coming weeks.
This post has been updated.