North Carolina bill would punish sports conferences that boycott over anti-LGBT laws

This is retaliation through legislation.

North Carolina Tar Heels forward Luke Maye (32) battles North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Maverick Rowan (24) for a loose ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 in Chapel Hill, NC. CREDIT: AP Photo/Ellen Ozier
North Carolina Tar Heels forward Luke Maye (32) battles North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Maverick Rowan (24) for a loose ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 in Chapel Hill, NC. CREDIT: AP Photo/Ellen Ozier

Another day, another hateful bill filed in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

This time, legislators have proposed a bill going after the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which pulled championship games from the state last year because of the anti-LGBT “bathroom bill,” HB2.

The new bill, House Bill 728, says that if an intercollegiate athletic association boycotts North Carolina in the future, the campuses in the University of North Carolina system in that conference would be prohibited from granting any media rights to that conference, and would provide written notice to that conference that they intend to leave upon the expiration of media rights.

In other words, if the ACC boycotts North Carolina again due to its discriminatory laws, the ACC would lose two of its biggest schools, the University of North Carolina and N.C. State.

While the ACC reinstated championship games in the state last month after the state’s (inadequate) repeal of HB2, their initial boycott made many Republican lawmakers in the state furious.

“We’re taking this seriously and we’re not going to sit back idly and let them do whatever they want to North Carolina,” said Rep. Mark Brody (R), as reported by CBS North Carolina.

Rep. Graig Meyer (D) called this a “payback bill from people who supported House Bill 2.”

The ACC is one of the most prominent athletic conferences in the country, and four North Carolina schools — UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State, Duke University, and Wake Forest University — are at the heart of the conference, particularly when it comes to men’s college basketball. Duke and Wake Forest are not impacted by this bill because they are private universities.

It is unclear at this time how much support HB728 has, but it is important to note that Republicans have the supermajority in the North Carolina House and Senate.