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Sep 14 2016
by Zach Lang

NCAA Removes Tournament Games from N.C. In Response To House Bill 2

By Zach Lang - Sep 14 2016
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The NCAA is now standing up to the controversial House Bill 2.  North Carolina was slated to host first- and second-round games in this season's upcoming NCAA tournament in March, but they have now been pulled.

House Bill 2, better known as the "Bathroom Bill," prohibits transgender people from using a public bathroom for the gender they identify with.  North Carolina is the only state to have a passed bill against the LGBT community that extends state-wide and rejects local laws protecting those rights.  This ruling even offers protection to those who refuse services to members in the LGBT community, making business discrimination legal.

Many states have made their opposition to North Carolina's HB2 known through travel rules.  New York, Minnesota, Vermont, Washington, and Connecticut prohibit public employees from traveling to North Carolina, also including some student-athletes and staff.  This led to a November 12th game between Albany and Duke being cancelled back in July, where Albany was scheduled to play in Durham, N.C.  Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, is a strong opposer of North Carolina's HB2.

The NCAA games are not the only collegiate championships exiting North Carolina.  The HB2 law also forced the NCAA to remove the 2016 Division I Women's Soccer Championship, Division III Men's and Women's Soccer Championships, Division I Women's Golf Championships, Division III Men's and Women's Tennis Championships, Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship, and the Division II Baseball championship.  This shows how serious the NCAA truly is about this controversial law.

The NCGOP has released a response to the NCAA's decision, stating that the action is "absurd" and "almost comical."  Their response reaches levels of political ridiculousness, stating that the NCAA might as well have unisex teams and have cheerleaders and football players share locker rooms.  They then finished their retort by questioning the motives of the NCAA, exclaiming that they should focus on the well-being of their athletes "on and off the field."

This also comes after the NBA cancelled Charlotte's All Star Game for this upcoming season, relocating the game to New Orleans.  According to Time Warner Cable News, HB2 has lost the state nearly $80 million in investments and visitor spending, and that was back in April before the NBA and NCAA relocated their sporting events.  That number must surely by now have escalated beyond comprehension.  

Now that collegiate sports is standing up alongside professional sports against the discrimination enforced and encouraged by the state government of North Carolina, politicians will need to take a good, long look at what good (if any at all) HB2 does for the state.  

Lead Image Credit: Maggie via Flickr Creative Commons

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Zach Lang - Syracuse University

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