In 2017, the NBA pulled the All-Star Game from Charlotte after the state legislature passed the “toilet bill” that restricted transgender bathroom use (people had to use the bathroom for the gender they were born with).
On Friday, Utah state lawmakers overruled the veto of Spencer Cox (a Republican) and approved a bill banning transgender female students from playing women’s sports.
Utah – Salt Lake City in particular – is set to host the 2023 NBA All-Star Game.
Will history repeat itself? Will the NBA pull the Salt Lake City All-Star Game next year? The precedent is there.
The only comment from the league office on this — to Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune, who has read this whole story — was evasive.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass explains if and how the league plans to act if HB11 is adopted: “We are working closely with the Jazz on this matter.”
The NBA moved the All-Star Game out of Charlotte after NC’s anti-transgender bill HB2. (Then returned after the repeal of the bill.)
—Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 23, 2022
It should be noted that the Jazz organization has publicly opposed this legislation from the start, as has team owner Ryan Smith.
“The Utah Jazz oppose discriminatory legislation. We are committed to our values of inclusiveness, mutual respect and fair play. Beyond basketball, we hope for an equitable solution that shows love and compassion for all of our youth,” the team said in a statement Friday.
“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to love.”
We must love these children.
This bill was rushed, flawed and will not last. Hope we can find a better way.
Anyway, to all members of the LGBTQ+ community, you are safe with us. https://t.co/Ct3eYBPbXK
— Ryan Smith (@RyanQualtrics) March 23, 2022
It remains to be seen whether this opposition is sufficient to maintain the All-Star Game in Salt Lake City next February. The NCAA had also planned to use Salt Lake City as a regional site for the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, which is also in jeopardy.
While the NBA retired the All-Star Game from Charlotte in 2017 (moving it to New Orleans), it put the 2019 All-Star Game in the city after relatively minor changes to the bill passed. by the North Carolina legislature. If the NBA pulls the 2023 game from Salt Lake, it’s likely the league will return in a few years.
For now, however, we wait. The ball is in