North Carolina has faced incredible fallout for HB2, the anti-LGBT law that, among other things, specifically prohibits transgender people from using bathrooms that match their gender identity. The NCAA just piled on even more.
Monday evening, the NCAA announced that all seven of the national championship games that had been scheduled in North Carolina for this academic year will be moved to other states:
Based on the NCAA’s commitment to fairness and inclusion, the Association will relocate all seven previously awarded championship events from North Carolina during the 2016–17 academic year. The NCAA Board of Governors made this decision because of the cumulative actions taken by the state concerning civil rights protections.
This move will impact the D1 Women’s Soccer College Cup, D3 Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships, D1 Men’s Basketball Championship (first and second rounds), D1 Women’s Golf Championships, D3 Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships, D1 Women’s Lacrosse Championship, and D2 Baseball Championship.
The NBA similarly announced in July that it would be moving its All-Star game out of Charlotte for the same reason, and plenty of other businesses and entertainers have abandoned plans to create jobs or otherwise contribute to the state’s revenue.
NCAA President Mark Emmert explained in a statement that the organization is committed to “ providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.”
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has repeatedly tried to downplay both the uniqueness and terribleness of HB2. After the NBA’s decision, he called it “PC BS” and accused those boycotting North Carolina of “ asking for a quid pro quo on legislation or else they’ll deny their service.” The NCAA was perhaps prepared for such a reaction and specifically outlined the problems it sees with the law:
The Board of Governors views North Carolina differently from states that have similar laws for these reasons: pic.twitter.com/SO8vNsvCPE
— NCAA (@NCAA) September 12, 2016
The move follows a lasting NCAA precedent of not allowing championships in states that fly the Confederate battle flag or at schools that use “hostile and abusive Native American imagery.”
Several individual universities, such as the University of Vermont, have similarly canceled games that would require their players and fans to travel to North Carolina.
The 2016 ACC football championship, also scheduled to take place in Charlotte, was conspicuously not included in the list.
UPDATE: In an astonishingly offensive response, the North Carolina GOP attacked the NCAA, suggesting it was removing all gender boundaries in sports and seemingly blaming transgender inclusion for the sexual assault scandal that transpired at Baylor University. Spokeswoman Kami Mueller released the following statement:
This is so absurd it’s almost comical. I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams. Under the NCAA’s logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers, and hotel rooms. This decision is an assault to female athletes across the nation. If you are unwilling to have women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, how do you have a women’s team? I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor. Perhaps the NCAA should stop with their political peacocking — and instead focus their energies on making sure our nation’s collegiate athletes are safe, both on and off the field.
The NCAA has had a policy of transgender inclusion on its teams for over six years.
UPDATE: On Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) responded to the decision. As he has in the past, he ignored the impact HB2 has on transgender people, instead attacking the NCAA for engaging in “economic threats or political retaliation”:
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.