Seven 2016-17 NCAA Championship events are being moved from the state of North Carolina over the state’s HB2 bill, after a decision by the organization’s Board of Governors.
The NCAA cites North Carolina’s laws denying protections to those within the LGBTQ community in the decision. In its official release, four specific factors are outlined that led to this landmark decision.
-North Carolina laws invalidate 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.
-North Carolina has the only statewide law that makes it unlawful to use a restroom different from the gender on one’s birth certificate, regardless of gender identity.
-North Carolina law provides legal protections for government officials to refuse services to the LGBT community.
-Five states plus numerous cities prohibit travel to North Carolina for public employees and representatives of public institutions, which could include student-athletes and campus athletics staff. These states are New York, Minnesota, Washington, Vermont and Connecticut.
NCAA president Mark Emmert released a statement about this decision.
“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” said Mark Emmert, NCAA president. “We believe in 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.”
The seven events that will be relocated:
- DI Women’s Soccer Championship – College Cup
- DIII Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships
- Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds
- Division I Women’s Golf Regional
- Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships
- Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship
- Division II Baseball Championship
The events were set to be held in Cary, Greensboro, and Greenville. The NCAA says new locations will be determined soon.
North Carolina’s HB2 law has already had a significant impact on sports in the state. Albany cancelled a basketball game at Duke because of New York State’s non-emergency travel ban on the state. Blue Devils’ head coach Mike Krzyzewski has called HB2 an “embarrassing” bill. In July, the NBA removed Charlotte as host of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, citing HB2 concerns.