April 15 (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association has not yet decided whether to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte in reaction to a state law that has been decried as discriminatory against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Commissioner Adam Silver said on Friday.
Some of the world’s top entertainers have canceled shows in North Carolina as a result of a law barring transgender people from choosing restrooms consistent with their gender identity.
Cirque du Soleil said on Friday it was canceling shows in North Carolina over the law, which it called discriminatory.
“The current state of the law is problematic for the league but we’re not making any announcements now,” Silver told a news conference after a two-day NBA board of governors meeting in New York. “We can be most constructive by working with the elected officials to effect change.”
Silver said the fact that the NBA has a team, the playoff-bound Charlotte Bobcats, based in North Carolina made the decision complicated.
He said it would send mixed messages if the NBA pulled the All-Star Game, which generates millions of dollars for the host city, from Charlotte but went ahead and held playoff games there later this month.
When the legislation was passed in March the NBA called it “discriminatory” and said it did not know what effect it would have on its ability to successfully host the midseason showcase in Charlotte.
Following the owners meeting Silver expressed some of the issues the league could face.
“Even if the NBA were to move in essence blindly forward and say we’ll play our All-Star Game regardless of the state of the law in North Carolina, we’re impacted by the entertainment community because of the performers that appear at our All-Star Game,” Silver said.
“We have hundreds of vendors that supply services, thousands of guests coming to North Carolina for our All-Star Game and I’ve heard from many of those constituents, many CEOs of those companies have already been outspoken about this law.”
Silver also said the NBA’s decision not to give North Carolina an ultimatum was not a show of support for the law.
“The message is not that somehow the current state of affairs is OK for the league. Let me be clear, the current state of the law is problematic for the NBA,” said Silver.
“We’re better off in many ways behind close doors, working towards what should be the appropriate resolution, which is a change in the law.” (Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Toni Reinhold)