Thursday, 27 April, 2017

NCAA ends boycott of North Carolina after 'bathroom bill' compromise

Hilda Schwartz | 11 April, 2017, 00:05

Those games were instead awarded to Greenville, S.C., costing the state millions in revenue.

"We are glad that the NCAA is going to come back to North Carolina and join us in fighting for more protections and for more ways to keep people from being discriminated against", Cooper told reporters Tuesday. The Republican majority accepts defeat on HB2 itself but extends the moratorium on local anti-discrimination laws from the six months originally proposed in December all the way out to 2020. But now that HB2 is off the books for good and the NCAA has come out to acknowledge it, however lukewarm the reception, it's likely we've seen the end of this charade barring any unforeseen changes.

Now HB2 has been repealed, and the events the Tar Heel State was planning to host in the 2017-2018 season are coming back. "It's simply another version of HB2 dressed up in a way desperate lawmakers hope will save state's economy", tweeted Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. After the NCAA demanded that North Carolina repeal HB2 in March, North Carolina made a compromise by instilling HB142.

"(The new law) addressed a number of concerns that led to the relocation of the NCAA championships", the NCAA said. The new legislation, according to the athletics association, "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", the board of governors clarified in their statement. Ultimately, the board concluded that North Carolina's overt targeting of LGBTQ citizens was acceptable because many other cites also haven't committed to more fully protecting gay and transgender people.

North Carolina's new Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, said he was pleased with the NCAA decision but that much work still needed to be done to protect LGBT people. That requires future host cities to "submit additional documentation demonstrating how student-athletes and fans will be protected from discrimination".

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In a statement released last week, the Atlantic Coast Conference also said it is ready to start holding events again in North Carolina following the repeal.

In basketball, the ACC hoops tournament will be held in Greensboro and Charlotte the next two years after being played in Brooklyn this year, which was unrelated to House Bill 2.

The decision was announced by the college sports organization in a statement posted on its website Tuesday morning.

In testimony before the state Senate previous year, North Carolina Family Policy Council President John Rustin said that the Charlotte ordinance meant that "men could enter women's restrooms and locker rooms - placing the privacy, safety, and dignity of women and the elderly at great risk".

It's hard to celebrate fending off disaster with the NCAA when North Carolina remains one of the least welcoming and inclusive states in the nation.

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