The NBA released a statement today in response to Atlanta's request to take the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte and move it down south.
NBA response to Atlanta Council request to take 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte pic.twitter.com/sqeBo3qb3l— Dianne Gallagher (@DianneG) March 30, 2016
From NBA spokesman Mike Bass...
"We appreciate the invitation but are hopeful the city of Charlotte and state of North Carolina can work through their differences far in advance of the 2017 All-Star game.
To update on the situation. North Carolina recently passed an anti-LGBT law. The NBA was very much opposed to this and released a statement that hinted at the possibility of Charlotte losing the event if the law was not repealed. A day later the Hornets released a statement in equal opposition of the law.
The Charlotte Hornets have issued the following statement: pic.twitter.com/5IOzSjjncM— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) March 25, 2016
"The Charlotte Hornets and Hornets Sports & Entertainment are opposed to discrimination in any form, and we have always sought to provide an inclusive environment. As has been the case since the building opened, we will continue to ensure that all fans, players and employees feel welcome while at work or attending NBA games and events at Time Warner Cable Arena."
Earlier this week, Georgia vetoed a similar anti-LGBT law. The city of Atlanta followed up on this with a request for the 2017 All-Star game to be moved there.
"The City of Atlanta draws strength from our diverse community," said Council President Mitchell. "This unity creates our city's embracing spirit, a quality that has made Atlanta the destination of choice for numerous international business conventions, professional and college sporting events, as well as one of the largest concentrations of Fortune 500 companies in the nation. We would certainly welcome the opportunity to show that very spirit as the host of the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend."
The city of Charlotte had a response of their own for Atlanta.
"We're incredibly proud to be the host destination of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game and also quite proud of the strong relationship we've forged with the NBA over the years. We are aware of the NBA's concerns and are working hard to ensure we can continue to have a successful event in Charlotte."
There's a lot of information to digest here, but what is extremely apparent from the start is that the All-Star game very much could be moved if the NBA chose to do so. There hasn't even been word that the NBA is looking for cities to move the event, and yet here's Atlanta trying to swoop in and take the event. If there's a city out there that wants it enough, and meets the NBA's expectations for hosting, then moving it would not be a problem.
However, on a more positive side, the NBA appears to be in support of Charlotte and wants to work with them to make sure they keep the event. Their quick denial of Atlanta's request says as much. With the team putting out a statement in opposition of the anti-LGBT law, and the city showing support for the NBA, it appears that all parties are on the same page. With so many organizations working together it's going to be hard for North Carolina to ignore them.