The NCAA Lifts Ban On Holding Events In NC After HB2 Repeal
The NCAA says it will consider North Carolina as a host for championship events again after the state rolled back a law that limited protections for LGBT people.
In a statement Tuesday, the governing body said its Board of Governors had reviewed moves to the so-called "bathroom bill" and replace it with a compromise law. The NCAA said the new law "meets the minimal NCAA requirements" while expressing some concerns about provisions within it.
The statement says a majority of the board "reluctantly voted" to allow for consideration of bids from North Carolina during current deliberations for sites running through 2022.
Gov. Roy Cooper said last week's compromise was an important step forward for North Carolina.
"While more work remains to be done, it’s good news that the NCAA will be returning to North Carolina. We will continue our work with them to fight for statewide antidiscrimination protections for LGBT North Carolinians."
The NCAA pulled seven events from the state in September for the 2016-17 season, including opening-weekend men's basketball tournament games in March, in response to the law.
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) also issued a joint statement in response to the NCAA’s decision.
"We are pleased with the NCAA’s decision and acknowledgment that our compromise legislation ‘restores the state to… a landscape similar to other jurisdictions presently hosting NCAA championships'."
Other organizations and advocacy groups also issued statements Tuesday after the NCAA’s announcement, including Sarah Gillooly, policy director for the ACLU of North Carolina:
“This new law is not a repeal of HB2. It doubles down on the dangerous lie that transgender people are a threat to public safety, and it doesn’t leave North Carolina the way it was before HB2. The NCAA must stand by its word and demand documentation of basic nondiscrimination policies before committing to any North Carolina sites.”
Tami Fitzgerald, NC Values Coalition Executive Director, also issued a statement saying the NCAA’s boycott of North Carolina achieved what it wanted—the repeal of HB2:
“NC Values Coalition is pleased that the NCAA Board of Governors has decided to end their boycott and lobbying efforts against our State and are now including North Carolina bids to host future NCAA Championship events through 2022. The NCAA’s boycott of North Carolina achieved what it wanted—the repeal of HB2—proving that bullying works as long as you meet the demands of the bully; however, the NCAA had no business demanding anything of North Carolina lawmakers. Nondiscrimination laws in North Carolina—even under HB2—have always been similar to 29 other states and 10,000 other multiplicities.”