The ever continuing saga over North Carolina’s House Bill 2 and the world of college and pro sports keeps spinning wildly out of control. North Carolina’s House Bill 2 law sets a statewide definition of classes of people who are protected against discrimination: race, religion, color, national origin, age, handicap or biological sex as designated on a person’s birth certificate.
But in an announcement made late on the night of Monday September 12, 2016 the NCAA’s Board of Governors has decided to move seven of its championship events during this academic year from the state of North Carolina, which includes the first and second rounds of 2017 men’s basketball that was to be held in Greensboro, because of the state’s so-called controversial HB2 law. This decision comes on the heels of the decision back in February of the NBA moving its annual All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans.
The board issued a statement saying, “Current North Carolina state laws make it challenging to guarantee the host communities can help deliver on that commitment if NCAA events remained in the state.” Also the NCAA said deciding factors in moving the events were that the North Carolina law “invalidated any local law that treats sexual orientation as a protected class or has a purpose to prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals.” The NCAA also stated that the House Bill 2 law makes “it unlawful to use a restroom different from the gender on one’s birth certificate, regardless of gender identity.” In the statement the NCAA tried to make a point that the law provides legal protection for government officials to refuse services to the LGBT community. By doing this the NCAA clearly showed the ignorance of the law that they have.
The seven championships that are being moved out of the state of North Carolina are as followed:
- Division I women’s soccer championship College Cup, slated for Cary, N.C., Dec. 2 and 4 2016.
- Division III men’s and women’s soccer championship in Greensboro, Dec. 2-3 2016.
- Division I men’s basketball tournament first/second rounds in Greensboro, March 17 and 19, 2017.
- Division I women’s golf championship regional in Greenville, May 8-10 2017.
- Division III men’s and women’s tennis championship in Cary, May 22-27 2017.
- Division I women’s lacrosse championship in Cary, May 26 and 28 2017.
- Division II baseball championship in Cary, May 27-June 3 2017.
In a statement issued on the Tuesday by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, he denounced the NCAA for taking he deemed as “political retaliation” and for failing to show respect the matter while it was being addressed in the courts. “The issue of redefining gender and basic norms of privacy will be resolved in the near future in the United States court system for not only North Carolina, but the entire nation. I strongly encourage all public and private institutions to both respect and allow our nation’s judicial system to proceed without economic threats or political retaliation toward the 22 states that are currently challenging government overreach. Sadly, the NCAA, a multi-billion dollar, tax-exempt monopoly, failed to show this respect at the expense of our student athletes and hard-working men and women.”
After the NCAA pulled its little power play on late Monday night, The Atlantic Coast Conference or the ACC initiated one of its own by moving all neutral-site conference championship games out of North Carolina as a result of the state’s controversial House Bill 2 law that limits the legal protection of the LGBT community.
The conference council of presidents issued a statement saying its decision “reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination.” Also stated in the statement was, “Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values and therefore, we will continue to host ACC championships at campus sites,” the statement said. “We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral-site championships for the 2016-17 academic years.”
By the ACC doing this, it means that the ACC football championship game scheduled for Dec. 3 will no longer be played in Charlotte. Conference commissioner John Swofford said in a statement that a new location will be announced at a later date.
The NFL’s Carolina Panthers said they were disappointed by the ACC’s decision to move the conference title game away from Bank of America Stadium, but they “remain steadfast in providing an inclusive environment.”
But one thing is for sure the reaction out of North Carolina was widespread and ran the range of emotions on Monday and Wednesday in the wake of the NCAA’s and the ACC’s removal of championship events from the state. Several people are disappointed, upset, and angry that the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference decided to move the events out of North Carolina, because of a matter that would not even be discussed if this was not a national and state election year. This issue is being used a political football to hold the other side hostage, in this case of the NCAA and the ACC trying to hold the state of North Carolina hostage by pulling events that has an economic impact on the state to get rid of a law that majority of people in North Carolina supports.
To read my previous article on North Carolina’s House Bill 2 click here.