Charlotte hosting 2019 All-Star Game after law change » Manila Bulletin Sports

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver  (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Charlotte was named the host city for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game on Wednesday by the league, which moved this year’s contest from the North Carolina city over a controversial law that has been repealed.

The 68th NBA All-Star Game will be played at the home of the Charlotte Hornets on February 17, 2019. This year’s game would have been there but was instead played in New Orleans.

The controversial North Carolina state law, known as HB2 or the “bathroom” law, required people to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates. It also removed anti-discrimination protections.

That prompted the NBA to move the 2017 All-Star Game and other organizations, notably US college sports, banned championship events from the state until the law was changed.

The birth gender bathroom portion of the law was repealed last March, although many critics said it did not go far enough to restore rights.

“While we understand the concerns of those who say the repeal of HB2 did not go far enough, we believe the recent legislation eliminates the most egregious aspects of the prior law,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in announcing the All-Star Game for Charlotte.

“Additionally, it allows us to work with the leadership of the Hornets organization to apply a set of equality principles to ensure that every All-Star event will proceed with open access and anti-discrimination policies. All venues, hotels and businesses we work with during All-Star will adhere to these policies as well.”

Three days of activities around the annual contest typically bring millions of dollars into host communities.

Los Angeles will host next year’s edition of the game, which showcases top talent from the Eastern Conference against the best of the West. It was last staged in Charlotte in 1991. (AFP)

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