Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) praised the NBA on Friday for its decision to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte after North Carolina lawmakers failed to repeal a controversial anti-LGBT law.
“Great move by the NBA pulling next year’s All-Star Game from NC. We must stand with our LGBTQ brothers and sisters,” the former Democratic presidential candidate tweeted, with an incredible GIF attached.
North Carolina lawmakers approved House Bill 2, which has been dubbed the “Bathroom Bill,” in March. The law forces transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they were assigned at birth.
The NBA raised concerns about the legislation almost immediately, and Commissioner Adam Silver told the state it could lose the All-Star Game, scheduled for February, if it didn’t change the law. (Charlotte, incidentally, had passed nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people that was invalidated by the new law.)
“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2,” the NBA said in a statement Thursday.
The state could still lose other major sporting events too: The NCAA approved a new nondiscrimination policy in the wake of HB2’s passage that could affect Greensboro and Charlotte’s status as men’s NCAA Tournament hosts in 2017 and 2018, respectively.