HB2 continues to plague the state of North Carolina, and now one of the nations largest sporting institutions is going through with a promise made earlier this year if the the law didn’t change.
The news comes from Basketball blogging site The Verticle where reporter Adrian Wojnarowski said on Twitter that sources close to the NBA had confirmed the move of the coveted All-Star game to New Orleans after the state failed to amend or remove controversial parts of the law.
Commissioner Adam Silver had threatened to pull the event back in April, less than a month after the law was signed by Gov. Pat McCrory. McCrory has continued to defend the bill, which forces transgender people to use the restroom aligned with their birth gender, not their gender identity, saying it keeps people safe from sexual predators.
NBA MVPs have rallied with LGBTQ folks in this fight, with people Like Charles Barkley and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar call both calling for more acceptance for the community, often comparing it to the discrimination they faced as people of color.
“I think the NBA should move the All-Star Game from there next year,” Barkley told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield in April. ”As a Black person, I’m against any form of discrimination – against whites, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, however you want to phrase it. It’s my job, with the position of power that I’m in and being able to be on television, I’m supposed to stand up for the people who can’t stand up for themselves.”
NC State Senator Jeff Jackson said on Twitter that losing the All-Star game could cost the state $100 million, and he’s asked the organization to consider that impact before pulling out.
“Looking forward to hearing Gov. McCrory’s ideas for making up that lost revenue,” the Senator tweeted. “No matter how strongly I disagreed with #HB2, I still asked NBA to stand in solidarity with Charlotte. Don’t punish the city that stood up.”
While initial backlash to HB2 was strong, polls show McCrory neck and neck in his gubernatorial election campaign agianst NC’s democrat Attorney General Roy Cooper.
A suit against Gov. McCrory and the state challenging the law was filed by the NC ACLU, Lambda Legal and a transgender employee of the state’s college system. It is awaiting a day in court, though a hearing is scheduled for early August.