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NBA keeping All-Star Game in North Carolina for now, decision yet to be finalized

Posted at 2:40 PM, Apr 15, 2016

Despite the passage of a controversial religious freedom bill in North Carolina that many entertainment and business leaders have called anti-LGBT, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on Friday that the league will continue with its plans to hold the league's 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C.

Silver's announcement came from New York City following the league's Board of Governors meeting. 

"The law as it stands in North Carolina is problematic," Silver said. "There was no discussion on moving the All-Star Game, but the view in the room was we should be working toward change in North Carolina." 

A league official added that the league has not finalized a decision on whether to move the game. 

Part of the issue, Silver explained, was that Charlotte had enacted a bill protecting LGBT employees from discrimination. House Bill 2 effectively bans municipalities from having such workplace protections. Silver described this issue as an intra-state dispute. 

"It would be easy to grandstand," Silver said. Silver pointed out that that he's not sure what the NBA's message would be by moving the league's All-Star Game, but allowing the Charlotte Hornets' franchise to continue operations in the state. 

He added that it is in the best interest of the league to work with the state and private sector to ensure the league plays in an a setting that does not discriminate. 

"I don't understand the genesis of this law, I don't understand the need for this law," Silver said. "I am very concerned about singling out any minority group."

The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce backed Silver's announcement.

"We appreciate and are grateful for the NBA's decision to keep the NBA's All-Star Game in Charlotte," the chamber said in a release. "We recognize that they, and others, have an expectation that more work needs to be done."

Some in the NBA circles have pushed for the league to move the game. Former NBA star Charles Barkley and current Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy are among many who have called on the NBA to move next year's All-Star Game. 

Note: The headline was changed to reflect the league's stance that the decision to keep the game in Charlotte has not been finalized. 

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.