NFL won't move North Carolina meetings, despite controversial new law

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The NFL will not move its May 23-25 meetings from Charlotte despite a new North Carolina law that limits the legal protection of the LGBT community.

"We embrace diversity and inclusiveness in all of our policies,'' league spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN.com. "The Panthers have made clear their position of non-discrimination and respect for all their fans. The city of Charlotte also has made clear its position.

"The meeting will take place in the city of Charlotte."

The Carolina Panthers maintain the stance the organization took when protection of LGBT rights became a topic of discussion last summer.

"As the NFL noted, our organization has a long history of non-discrimination and treating all of our patrons at Bank of America Stadium with dignity and respect,'' team spokesman Steven Drummond said. "Anyone who loves football and the Panthers is and will continue to be welcome at our stadium."

The new law known as House Bill 2 (HB2) was passed by the General Assembly on March 23 and signed that night by Gov. Pat McCrory. It superseded a Charlotte ordinance that protected transgender people who use public restrooms based on their gender identity.

It also negated local ordinances across the state that would have expanded protections for the LGBT community.

On Tuesday, PayPal reportedly withdrew plans for a new Charlotte operations center that would have created more than 400 jobs for the city because it opposes the law.

The Atlanta City Council recently asked the NBA to move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte to Atlanta because of the law.

The NBA responded with a statement saying it was hopeful a resolution could be reached. There are movements to get the law overturned.

"We appreciate the invitation but are hopeful that the city of Charlotte and the state of North Carolina can work through their differences far in advance of the 2017 All-Star Game," the statement said.