The 2017 NBA All-Star Game will move from Charlotte, North Carolina, because of that state’s controversial transgender bathroom law, the league announced Thursday.
The league said it would make an announcement about where the game would be played in the coming weeks.
The NBA also said it hopes to hold the 2019 game in Charlotte “provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had worked with other NBA officials to try to get North Carolina to change the law, which requires people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender at birth and prevents local governments from passing anti-discrimination ordinances.
Earlier this month the law, which initially passed in March, survived largely unscathed after last-minute wrangling at the close of the state legislative session.
The measure was modified to restore workers’ rights to use state law to sue over employment discrimination. Gov. Pat McCrory, who requested the change, signed the legislation on Monday.
Still, most of the provisions that outraged gay rights advocates, entertainers and business leaders remained in the bill.
The Sacramento Kings applauded the NBA for its decision to move the game.
“The NBA has long stood for inclusion and respect, and the Sacramento Kings are proud to be a part of that legacy,” said Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé. “On and off the court we have a diverse team representing different countries, races, religions, ages and sexual orientations. In basketball and in Silicon Valley, we share a similar philosophy – it does not matter who you are, your religious beliefs, your sexual orientation, or the color of your skin – everyone is welcome in our family. All that matters is that you’ve got game.
“We applaud and support the NBA’s decision to ensure that all members of the NBA family, our fans and our partners are able to attend and enjoy the All-Star game in a state where they feel welcome and safe. We enthusiastically support Commissioner Silver and we are proud to play in a league that is a leader in promoting the importance of diversity and equality.”