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Story about canceling 2017 NBA all-star game in North Carolina over anti-LGBT law was hoax


By Doug Zanger, Americas Editor

April 11, 2016 | 4 min read

A story that made internet rounds over the weekend, about the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) plans to cancel the NBA All-Star game in Charlotte over North Carolina’s controversial anti-LGBT law, was, in fact, a hoax.

The story was purported to be on the ABC News site but it was a fake page and site set up using the real ABC logo. It also made its way to a page that claimed to be CBS News. Both pages were obviously not real (especially the “CBS News” page that had no logo) due the URLs using the real site URLs, but adding “.co” after each.

The story was picked up by several news outlets including, which deleted the story after discovering the hoax. The league took the unprecedented step of issuing a tweet to address the “article” and has not made any recent statements about the game.

Though the game is not planning to move at the moment over the law, NBA legend and analyst Charles Barkley weighed in with his opinion about taking the game away from the home of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

“I think the NBA should move the All-Star Game from there next year. As a black person, I’m against any form of discrimination — against whites, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, however you want to phrase it,” Barkley said to CNN. “It’s my job, with the position of power that I’m in and being able to be on television, I’m supposed to stand up for the people who can’t stand up for themselves. So, I think the NBA should move the All-Star Game from Charlotte.”

A number of companies have signaled their displeasure with the law, which requires transgender people (and all people) to use public restrooms according to the biological sex on their birth certificate. PayPal stopped plans for expansion in the state and influential CEOs from the likes of Apple and Facebook warned that the law will affect any sort of expansion or moves into the state to the tune of millions of dollars potentially lost.

Additionally, Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in Greensboro, North Carolina over the law, telling fans: “To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

"LGBTQ consumers are extremely loyal to those who support the community, and companies who support justice and equality are seen favorably by all millennials," said Scott Gatz, founder and CEO of Q.Digital, a leading LGBTQ media company based in San Francisco. "Besides simply doing the right thing, corporations (and Bruce Springsteen) know that it's simply good business."

There is some debate as to the financial impact of an all-star game to a city but, according to BallnRoll, the 2014 game in New Orleans generated $106.1m and, per Bloomberg, the 2015 edition in New York City generated around $195m.

HB2 NBA Bruce Springsteen

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