Discussion of the NCAA's decision to move seven 2016 - 2017 championship events out of NC due to the state's anti LGBTQ laws.
This is a HUGE step, and for once I applaud a decision of the NCAA. The championships that will be relocated include:
- 2016 Division I Women’s Soccer Championship, College Cup (Cary), Dec. 2 and 4.
- 2016 Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships (Greensboro), Dec. 2 and 3.
- 2017 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, first/second rounds (Greensboro), March 17 and 19.
- 2017 Division I Women’s Golf Championships, regional (Greenville), May 8-10.
- 2017 Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships (Cary), May 22-27.
- 2017 Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship (Cary), May 26 and 28.
- 2017 Division II Baseball Championship (Cary), May 27-June 3.
Regarding the NCAA's rationale, the following reasons were specified in the release:
- 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.
I do find it interesting, however, that while the NCAA has moved these championships, the ACC Football Championship has not been moved from Charlotte.
I can think of two reasons that this may be the case:
1) The championship game is setup by the Atlantic Coast Conference, not the NCAA and/or
2) the city of Charlotte has passed LGBTQ friendly laws, which is one of the reasons that the State passed NC HB2. If either of these is the case, someone should say it publicly, because arguably the most visible and popular event has not been moved from the state.
Interestingly, the ACC includes Syracuse, located in New York and therefore subject to that state's ban on official travel to NC, so it would be interesting to see if (however unlikely) Syracuse were to make it to the football championship, would the team/staff be allowed to travel to the state.