NBA commissioner Adam Silver made it clear on Thursday that the 2017 Charlotte NBA All-Star Game could be moved to a new city if a North Carolina law limiting anti-discrimination protection for gays, lesbians, and transgender people doesn’t change.
Adam Silver says the NBA has been clear that if the status quo in North Carolina remains in place the All-Star Game would have to be moved.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) April 21, 2016
Silver is working with the state to alter the legislature.
“We’ve been working very closely with the business community down there and the governor and the legislature to make it clear that it would be problematic for us to move forward with our All-Star Game if there is not a change in the law,” Silver told ESPN.
The NBA has been very progressive about tolerance. The league forced Donald Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers when audio recordings of him saying racist things surfaced online. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has also stood up and said he’s upset such intolerance exists in his home state.
Silver thinks that North Carolina will respond to pressure from the league.
“I believe they’re going to do the right thing,” Silver said. “And I think they’ve heard loud and clearly from the NBA, they know what’s at stake in terms of the All-Star Game … but I think at least at the moment, constructive engagement on our part is the best way to go as opposed to putting a gun to their head and saying ‘Do this, or else.'”
The game is expected to give a big boost to the city of Charlotte’s economy.