In response to North Carolina's controversial anti-LGBTQ bathroom law, the professional basketball organization has announced it will no longer hold the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte, North Carolina, hoping to be able to reschedule for 2019.
"Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change," the NBA announced in a statement. " 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."
Read the full statement below.
Former Olympian and transgender reality star Caitlyn Jenner praised the announcement on Twitter, writing, "Great moves, @NBA. Now... What about you, @NCAA??"
Several NBA stars have also reacted, including Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry -- who grew up in Charlotte while his father. Dell Curry, played for the Hornets -- who told ESPN's SportsCenter
that he understood the NBA's position, but was disappointed because he knew "how much that would have meant to the city."
New York Knicks player Carmelo Anthony told ESPN he felt bad for the Charlotte Hornet’s team chairman, Michael Jordan, saying, "We as players didn't think it was going to get to this. It's unfortunate."
Turner Sports, who owns the All-Star Game's host channel, TNT, supported the NBA's decision, saying in a statement, "Diversity in all its forms is core to our value system, and to the success of our company. Laws to the contrary go against our fundamental belief of equality and inclusion for all individuals."
The league stressed that the decision was not meant to be an indictment on the Hornets organization, saying, "The City of Charlotte and the Hornets organization have sought to provide an inclusive environment and the Hornets will continue to ensure that all patrons -- including members of the LGBT community -- feel welcome while attending games and events in their arena."
The Hornets and Jordan responded with a statement of their own on Thursday, saying "We understand the NBA's decision and the challenges around holding the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte this season."
"There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so," the Hornets continued. "With that said, we are pleased that the NBA opened the door for Charlotte to host All-Star Weekend again as soon as an opportunity was available in 2019."