As the North Carolina legislature faces mounting pressure from the National Basketball Association to address the anti-transgender discrimination in House Bill 2, CNN Sports reports that Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is joining in talks with legislators.
The NBA has joined other businesses in expressing concern about the economic impacts of the law, which require transgender people to use the restroom corresponding with their sex assigned at birth rather than their gender and bars local governments—like the City of Charlotte—from passing nondiscrimination ordinances.
Part of the urgency for the NBA, and other North Carolina business and community leaders, is due to the fact that Charlotte is lined up to host the 2017 All-Star Game in February. While some are calling for the league to boycott the state, others are concerned about the economic impact of North Carolina losing the game.
“I’d say there is absolutely strong interest in trying to work something out,”NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in June. “I think both sides of the issue recognize, however heartfelt their views are, that the current state of being is causing enormous economic damage to the state.”
However, draft legislation obtained by CNN affiliate WBTV shows that recent modifications to the bill have maintained the state’s freedom to require that transgender people use restrooms and locker rooms corresponding with their sex assigned at birth.
Jordan, who is known for his reticence to make public statements, shared a brief statement with The Charlotte Observer in April.
“As my organization has stated previously, the Charlotte Hornets and Hornets Sports & Entertainment are opposed to discrimination in any form, and we have always sought to provide an inclusive environment. As has been the case since the building opened, we will continue to ensure that all fans, players and employees feel welcome while at work or attending NBA games and events at Time Warner Cable Arena.”