NBA pulls 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte over North Carolina's transgender bathroom law

Eastern Conference guard Kyrie Irving (2) of the Cleveland Cavaliers brings the ball up court during the 2014 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 16, 2014. REUTERS

The National Basketball Association won't be holding the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte, North Carolina, because of a recently passed state law that discriminates against transgender people.

Other cities seeking the related revenue are scrambling for the opportunity to host the midseason game, but the NBA is reportedly planning to move it to New Orleans. The Louisiana city hosted the game in 2008 and 2014.

A Yahoo News report citing league sources was first to break the news, and says NBA is expected to make a formal announcement as soon as this week.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver previously said North Carolina's widely criticized anti-trans law, passed in 2016, is "inconsistent with the core values" of the NBA and that the All-Star Weekend, which generates millions of dollars in economic activity, could be relocated as a result.

North Carolina is the first and only U.S. state to formalize the insane, perverse, and prejudicial notion that transgender people who need to take a shit or a piss while in a public building or school must be able to present identification that matches the gender (some like use the word "sex") on their birth certificate, rather that using the gendered bathroom that most closely matches their actual gender identity.

Eastern Conference forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (23) goes up for a dunk during the NBA All-Star Game in Toronto, Ontario, Canada February 14, 2016.  REUTERS

Eastern Conference forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (23) goes up for a dunk during the NBA All-Star Game in Toronto, Ontario, Canada February 14, 2016. REUTERS

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Chris Sgro, the executive director of Equality North Carolina and the state's only openly gay legislator, blamed the state's Republican governor, Pat McCrory, and lawmakers for backing a measure that appeared to have resulted in Charlotte losing "a marquee event."

"The warning signs were bright as they could be for the last 100 days while the NBA told state leaders that they would not be able to bring their fans to a place where all fans were not free from discrimination," Sgro told Reuters in a phone interview on Thursday. "And Pat McCrory and legislative leaders doubled down on that discrimination."

McCrory’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of NC Values Coalition, which supports the bathroom law, criticized the NBA’s decision.

"The NBA should be ashamed of itself for using North Carolina—particularly its young girls—as a political pawn for an out-of-touch agenda that compromises both dignity interests and privacy rights," Fitzgerald said in a statement.