The NBA announced Thursday it will be relocating the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina, over the state's controversial law limiting civil rights protections for LGBT people.
In the latest and most high-profile fallout since Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill into law in March, the league said in a statement that it did not believe the NBA could "successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2."
An alternate city for next February's event has not been announced. The NBA has assured the Charlotte Hornets they hope to bring the 2019 event to Charlotte if issues involving HB2 are resolved. [[247269581, C]]
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Caving in to mounting pressure to move the annual event, the NBA joined a growing list of high-profile organizations, businesses and celebrities that have canceled events and pulled business out of North Carolina in protest.
Charles Barkley, one of the most outspoken critics of HB2, who was leading the call to move the All-Star Weekend out of Charlotte, said he would boycott the event if the league didn't move it to another city.
Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry learned about the league's decision to pull the game from Charlotte, his home town, during an American Century Championship golf tournament news conference.
"I'm disappointed to not be able to celebrate a game of basketball in Charlotte as the head player," Curry said, adding that he understands the NBA's decision, but was still "hoping on Charlotte."
Knicks star Carmelo Anthony told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that it was "unfortunate."
"Aside from all the politics, I feel bad for [Michael Jordan] because I knew what that was going to do for the city of Charlotte. For him being able to bring All-Star weekend to Charlotte," Anthony said. "I feel bad for him and for the NBA, too. We as players didn’t think it was going to get to this. It’s unfortunate."
After the decision was announced, NBA teams across the country, as well as current and former players, turned to social media to show support for the league's decision, and to condemn discrimination. [[387882282, C]]
National leaders and celebrities also took to Twitter to praise the NBA for "standing with equality and justice." [[387883182, C]]