Hornets co-owner blames NBA, Charlotte City Council for All-Star game decision

Published: Jul. 22, 2016 at 3:39 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2016 at 4:30 AM EDT
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Ricky Fowler, center, walks with Gov. Pat McCrory, right, and businessman Felix Sabates, left,...
Ricky Fowler, center, walks with Gov. Pat McCrory, right, and businessman Felix Sabates, left, during the pro-am of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament on May 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte Hornets co-owner Felix Sabates took both the NBA and the Charlotte City Council to task in an email to the team's ownership group following Thursday's announcement that the 2017 All-Star game would be moved from Charlotte.

Sabates sent his email in response to a note sent to the entire ownership group from Hornets President and COO Fred Whitfield regarding the league's decision to move the game.

"As a valued member of our ownership group, we wanted to make you aware of the NBA's announcement today that Charlotte will no longer be hosting the 2017 All-Star game in February," Whitfield's letter read. "While we are disappointed by this decision, we understand the challenges around having All-Star Weekend in Charlotte this season and we are grateful that the league has provided an opportunity for us to host the  event in the next available season in 2019."

DOCUMENT: Click here to read the letter from Whitfield

Whitfield's letter to the Hornets' ownership group went out nearly ten minutes after the NBA released a statement announcing its decision to move the game.

The league's decision comes after months of negotiations between NBA executives and top leadership in North Carolina, including Governor Pat McCrory, Speaker Tim Moore and President Pro Tem Phil Berger, led to proposed legislation that never got heard in the legislature.

RELATED: NBA releases statement, moving All-Star Game from Charlotte over HB2

Sabates, who helped found the original Hornets franchise in 1987, responded to Whitfield's email voicing his displeasure with the decision.

"I am very disappointed in this decision by the commissioner, it hurts our team and ownership group that has suffered very deep financial loses (sic) over the years," Sabates said.

Later in his email, Sabates took aim at those he said were behind the game being moved.

"Shame on those responsible for such a short sighted decision to take the NBA All Star away from Charlotte I always thought this was country that ALL peoples not just a few can determine our future," he wrote.

DOCUMENT: Click here to read Sabates' email

"Our Mayor opened a can of worms, who knows why? Our city council is the one to blame for our losing the NBA All Star game, none of this would have happened if not for a very few minority forcing our supposed city leaders into creating a problem that never really existed, there will always be another election, they better pray a very few can get them re-elected," his letter continued. "What is wrong with a person using a bathroom provided for the sex the were born with, if you want to change your gender so be it, we are a free county, but don't force 8 years old children to be exposed to having to share bathroom facilities with people that don't share the organs they were Bourne (sic) with, this is plain wrong, this could cause irreparable damages to a children's that don't understand why they have to see what God did not mean for them to witness, we have some very confused business as well as political humans that frankly have made this a political issue rather then (sic) moral issues, SHAME ON THEM."

RELATED: NC House leadership drafts HB2 changes amid pressure from NBA

Sabates ended his email by pointing out other states that are taking legal action to challenge a recent executive order from the Obama Administration requiring all public schools to allow students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

"NOT FAIR FOR OUR COMMUNITY TO BE PENALIZED when 21 other USA states are suing the Federal Government over laws that are not fair to our communities," he concluded.

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