Like the ACC did last week, the NCAA announced on Tuesday it has lifted its ban on holding championship events in the state of North Carolina as a result of House Bill 2 (HB2).
When the law, which included a requirement for transgender people to use public bathrooms that matches the gender on their birth certificates and limited anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, was passed in August 2016, the NCAA made the decision not to hold its championships in the state. Last week, North Carolina repealed HB2 and replaced it with a new compromise law, HB142.
The NCAA said the new legislation is “far from perfect” and “meets minimal NCAA requirements.” Still, a majority on the NCAA Board of Governors “reluctantly voted to allow consideration of championship bids” in North Carolina.
From the NCAA’s statement:
“The NCAA did not lobby for any specific change in the law. The Board of Governors, however, was hopeful that the state would fully repeal HB2 in order to allow the host communities to ensure a safe, healthy, discrimination-free atmosphere for the championship sites. While the new law meets the minimal NCAA requirements, the board remains concerned that some may perceive North Carolina’s moratorium against affording opportunities for communities to extend basic civil rights as a signal that discriminatory behavior is permitted and acceptable, which is inconsistent with the NCAA Bylaws.”
“However, we recognize the quality championships hosted by the people of North Carolina in years before HB2. And this new law restores the state to that legal landscape: a landscape similar to other jurisdictions presently hosting NCAA championships. We are actively determining site selections, and this new law has minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment.
“If we find that our expectations of a discrimination-free environment are not met, we will not hesitate to take necessary action at any time.”
Multiple championships were moved out of North Carolina for the 2016-17 season, including NCAA basketball tournament games and the ACC football championship, which was moved from Charlotte to Orlando, Florida. Now, in 2017, the game will be moved back to Charlotte as contractually scheduled (through 2019).
The ACC’s headquarters are in Greensboro, North Carolina. The league said last week that its Council of Presidents voted to allow consideration for North Carolina to host future ACC championships.
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