The 2017 NBA All-Star was slated to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Well, now it’s not.
The NBA has decided to move its annual marquee event due to North Carolina’s controversial transgender bathroom laws. HB2 stipulates that people must use public restrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate, which many see as discriminatory to the LGBT community.
New York is a possible replacement for the All-Star Game, as is Chicago. In the end, though, Brian Geltzeiler thinks it’ll be New Orleans.
“That seemed, to me, to be the choice from what I’ve understood,” the HoopsCritic.com founder said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s got to be somewhere where you’ve got this contained downtown area, where you could do that. You could pull that off in New York. That would be fine. You certainly could get that done in Chicago as well. I feel like New Orleans is a decent, natural choice.”
If you’re surprised that Adam Silver and the NBA are taking a social stand, don’t be.
“There was some history there that the North Carolina legislature could have drawn off of that they chose not to,” Geltzeiler said. “Arizona, they were very slow to embrace Martin Luther King’s birthday as a holiday, and they got iced by every professional sports league. They didn’t have All-Star Games, they didn’t have Super Bowls – until they decided to relent and do this. One of the things that you see here is hosting these games, which is an economic boon for these areas, hosting these games is a privilege, not a right. The NBA is a socially conscious league and they stand for what they stand for in certain ways. Players, owners are united in a lot of that. I know the NBA was not upset at the ESPY’s last week when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul stood up there and talked about enacting some social change in terms of race relations in this country.
“So this is kind of predictable,” Geltzeiler said. “The North Carolina legislature wanted to stare the NBA down and Adam Silver doesn’t bluff. If Adam Silver tells you he’s going to do it, he’s going to do it. He took the job in February of ’14. in April of ’14, the Donald Sterling turd burger fell in his lap, and by August ’14, Donald Sterling had his face pressed up against the glass when it came to the NBA. Adam Silver don’t mess, bro.”