The NCAA announced on Monday it is pulling seven upcoming college championship sports events from the state of North Carolina in response to “the cumulative actions taken by the state concerning civil rights protections,” according to the organization. North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ HB2, or “bathroom bill,” erodes a myriad of civil rights and anti-discrimination protections and, notably, forbids transgender individuals from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.
The NCAA Board of Governors made the decision Monday to pull the events from the state and stressed that the situation in North Carolina was different than other states that have passed related measures because the new raft of legislation expressly removed anti-discrimination protections for gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals and allows government officials to refuse public services to those individuals. “Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.”
The affected competitions are:
- 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
The NCAA’s decision comes on the heels of NBA’s move this summer to pull the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte because of HB2. Some of America’s biggest corporations have also lined up against the measure and the Department of Justice has warned the state that the law violates the Civil Rights Act. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has, so far, rebuffed outside pressure to repeal HB2, but the pressure continues to mount. The backlash to the law has already taken a significant toll on the Republican governor’s bid for re-election this fall.