It was no coincidence members of the Marist basketball team wore rainbow-patterned socks during their 94-49 loss at Duke on Friday night.
Red Foxes coach Mike Maker confirmed after the game that the socks were a show of support for the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community in response to North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 law.
“Marist and Duke share similar missions when it comes to inclusiveness and diversity and the respect they have for all that,” Maker told ESPN.com. “We met a lot with our players, and most of them decided that it’d be a good idea to show support in regards to that issue, and I’m very proud of how they handled themselves.”
Critics of HB2 allege that it purposefully violates the rights of transgender people. HB2 is best known for requiring transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding with their birth gender and for limiting the ability of employees to sue for discrimination or wrongful termination.
Since the passage of the law last March, many college and professional sports leaders have condemned it.
The NBA yanked the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte. NCAA officials relocated all seven championship events previously awarded to North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year. Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and athletic director Kevin White both called HB2 “embarrassing” earlier this year and said they would understand if schools chose to cancel games in the state of North Carolina as a result of the law.
The University of Albany canceled its previously scheduled Nov. 12 road game at Duke at the behest of New York governor Andrew Cuomo.
As a private school, Marist did not have to adhere to governor Cuomo’s ban. Nonetheless, its players found a clever way to make their feelings clear about the law.
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