NCAA lifts North Carolina ban after House Bill 2 repeal

Hazel Gray
April 18, 2017

In the wake of a deal struck between North Carolina's Democratic Governor Roy Cooper and leading state Senate Republicans to roll back parts of the discriminatory HB2 "Bathroom Bill", the NCAA has chose to bring college championships back to the state.

The NCAA's governing board said it would require "additional documentation" from sites selected for championship events on how athletes and fans would be protected from discrimination.

The new bill eliminates the bathroom law, but it also puts a moratorium on municipalities in the state to pass their own LGBT protection ordinances until 2020.

Although it repeals the state's directive for transgender people to only use public bathrooms and showers that match their birth gender, it leaves state legislators, rather than agencies, municipalities or universities, in charge of policy on public multi-stall restrooms. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed it into law on Thursday (March 31).

The NCAA had made it clear that more events already awarded to the state could be relocated, while also saying it would remove North Carolina bids from consideration as it prepared to announce is next wave of site announcements.

Along with NCAA events, the National Basketball Association reportedly will consider bringing the 2019 All-Star game and surrounding events to Charlotte, home of the Hornets franchise, in the future.

A majority of the board "reluctantly" voted to permit the state to be considered for championship games in light of the new measure, the NCAA said.

The NCAA released a statement on April 4 stating that North Carolina will now be included in its process of selecting the site for championships, and that the previous decision to host the 2017-18 championships in the state will remain.

The NCAA decision to restore games to North Carolina comes to the dismay of LGBT rights supporters.

Last week, HB2 was repealed with another law that LGBT and transgender rights advocates say doesn't go far enough in offering anti-discrimination protections statewide.

LGBT leaders were predictably angered by the NCAA's decision.

However, we recognize the quality championships hosted by the people of North Carolina in years before HB2.

The NCAA now is looking at awarding its championship events through 2022, and the deadline was mentioned many times during the repeal discussions in the state legislature. HB142 continues the same discriminatory scheme put forward by HB2 and does little to protect the NCAA's players, employees, and fans.

But the NCAA also noted that the situation in North Carolina now resembles that in other places where the group willingly holds championships. An Associated Press analysis last month showed North Carolina had lost more than $3.7 billion in economic activity related to the bill.

North Carolina did the dance with the NCAA while still allowing discrimination, and it succeeded.

While NCAA said the repeal - facilitated through passage of House Bill 142 last week - did address some of the concerns that led the organization to pull championship games this year, it stopped short of praising the General Assembly's effort.

Other reports by VgToday

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