12,000 Basketball Fans Sign Letter to NBA Team Owners Demanding they Pull the 2017 All-Star Game from North Carolina Until HB2 is Repealed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

CONTACT: Brett Abrams | 516-841-1105 | brett@unbendable.com

12,000 Basketball Fans Sign Letter to NBA Team Owners Demanding they Pull the 2017 All-Star Game from North Carolina Until HB2 is Repealed

Group Slams NBA Commissioner Adam Silver For Failing to Stand with NC’s LGBTQ Community

UltraViolet Calls on the NBA to Set a Clear Timetable for Repeal of HB2, or Move the 2017 NBA All-Star Game Out of North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA — Late last week, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, in conjunction with NBA team owners, announced that they would not be moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of North Carolina at this time.  The decision comes in the wake of the state’s new anti-LGBTQ law that prevents transgender individuals from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, nullifies existing LGBTQ protections passed by North Carolina cities, and prevents the those cities from passing future anti-discrimination measures to protect LGBTQ individuals.  

Outraged by the NBA’s decision to keep the game in North Carolina, more than 12,000 basketballs fans and concerned allies of the LGBT community in the US have signed onto a letter to be delivered to the NBA team owners calling for a clear timetable for North Carolina to repeal HB2 or face having the 2017 All-Star Game relocate to another location.  The letter reads:

To the owners of the teams in the 2016 NBA Playoffs:

We–members and allies of the LGBTQ community–write to ask you to urge the National Basketball Association (NBA)–and Commissioner Adam Silver–to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of North Carolina until the state repeals the anti-LGBTQ bill passed recently.

Since the passage of HB2, the state has lost the confidence of countless LGBTQ people and businesses. More and more people are calling on the NBA to protest the state’s bigotry by moving the All-Star Game. With the playoffs starting and your team in the spotlight, we ask that you join in this outcry and use your voice to pressure the state to correct course.

None of us, especially LGBTQ North Carolinians who are the target of the state’s new bigoted law, can wait for politicians to correct course on their own. North Carolina officials have made it clear they will not change HB2–by keeping the All-Star Game in the state, you and Commissioner Silver are enabling state-sanctioned hate. But your voice could undo legalized discrimination in the state as well as send a powerful message to other states, like Mississippi and Kansas, that are considering similar anti-LGBTQ bills.

You have a unique opportunity to pressure anti-LGBTQ lawmakers to restore the rights they stripped away from North Carolinians. Urge the NBA to pull the 2017 All-Star Game out of North Carolina until HB2 is repealed.


Members and allies of the LGBTQ community

Since North Carolina passed HB2, more than 44,000 UltraViolet members have signed on to a petition calling on the NBA to move the 2017 All-Star Game.  Numerous public figures, including US Senators and former basketball players have urged the 2017 All-Star Game to relocate in the face of North Carolina’s new extreme and discriminatory law.  In addition to their efforts to move the 2017 All-Star Game, UltraViolet members have also been ramping up pressure on PepsiCo, a major sponsor of the 2017 All-Star Game to pull its support unless the NBA moves the event.

Earlier this week, UltraViolet co-founder Nita Chaudhary responded to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s answer to a reporter from ESPN asking about the NBA’s timetable for making a decision around moving the All-Star Game saying:

“North Carolina’s new anti-LGBTQ law is more than just ‘problematic’ –  it is an extreme attack on the LGBTQ community in the State and a threat to queer people everywhere.

“Over the weekend, Commissioner Silver wondered what kind of message it would send for the NBA to move the All-Star Game – but by refusing to stand with North Carolina’s LGBTQ community, like so many other major companies have done – the NBA is showing that they are afraid to stand up for the fans, and do what is right in the face of hate and discrimination.

“The reality is simple – North Carolina’s elected officials have made it clear that they are not going to change this draconian law and by refusing to take a strong stand against HB2, the NBA is choosing to enable discrimination and stand with those who want to spread hate and divide our country.”

“If the NBA was serious about standing with North Carolina’s LGBTQ community and repealing HB2, they would set a clear timetable for legislative action – and promptly move the All-Star Game out of Charlotte unless it is met.  The people of North Carolina can’t wait.”

For more information, or for interviews with UltraViolet about their effort to convince the NBA to move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte unless HB2 is repealed, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at brett@unbendablemedia.com.

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