Due to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law HB2, there will be no NCAA championship held in the state during the 2016-17 season.
The NCAA announced Monday that it has decided to move all seven championships originally scheduled to take place in North Carolina this academic year because of its concerns about civil rights protections in the state.
“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a press release. “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.”
That means the NCAA will need to find new sites for the Division I women’s soccer, golf and lacrosse championships, the first/second rounds for the Div. I men’s basketball championship, the Div. II baseball championship and the Div. III men’s and women’s soccer and tennis championships, which all were scheduled to take place in North Carolina.
The NCAA Board of Directors gave these four reasons for its 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.”
The NBA also has decided to move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte due to the state’s anti-LGBT law.
Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images