Charlotte eligible for 2019 All-Star game, says commissioner

Charlotte eligible for 2019 All-Star game, says commissioner
By Reuters

07/04/2017 at 23:30Updated 07/04/2017 at 23:34

April 7 (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association said on Friday it will consider Charlotte, North Carolina, as the host for its 2019 All-Star game after the state replaced a law viewed by the league as discriminatory against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement the league's board decided on Thursday that Charlotte is eligible for the 2019 midseason game.

The NBA had stripped North Carolina of the 2017 All-Star game, moving it to New Orleans.

The league objected to a state law passed in March 2016 that required transgender people to use bathrooms matching the sex on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity and limited LGBT people's protection against discrimination.

Last week, state legislators in Raleigh passed a law that repealed the bathroom measure. But they also banned cities from enacting their own anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people until 2020 and permanently blocked local legal protections for transgender people in restrooms.

Earlier this week, the National Collegiate Athletic Association said it will consider allowing North Carolina to host championship games, including its popular and lucrative men's basketball tournament.

Silver said anti-discriminatory policies held by the NBA need to be displayed at hotels, businesses and organizations that the NBA works with during All-Star game week in Charlotte.

If those requirements are met, Silver said, Charlotte is expected to host the All-Star weekend.

"With our deep roots in North Carolina, we believe an All-Star Game in Charlotte could be a powerful way to display our values of equality and inclusion," he said.

Last July, when the NBA moved the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, it said the city could host the 2019 game if there was an "appropriate resolution to this matter."

After a year of boycotts by corporations, conventions and concerts, elected officials in North Carolina said the revised measure addressed discrimination concerns while still protecting safety and privacy in government restrooms. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, N.C., and Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Editing by Matthew Lewis)