The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced Monday that it is pulling all championship games from North Carolina for the 2016-2017 academic year because of the state’s discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ “bathroom bill,” HB2.
“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” said NCAA president Mark Emmert. “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 seven previously-awarded events, which included two rounds of the highly-coveted Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, will now be relocated.
According to a statement issued late Monday, “The NCAA Board of Governors made this decision because of the cumulative actions taken by the state concerning civil rights protections.” In addition to being the only state with a blanket prohibition against individuals using a restroom in accordance with their gender identity, even if it is different than that on their birth certificate, North Carolina also has legal protections for government officials who deny services to the LGBTQ community.
The NCAA explained that these onerous and exclusive laws distinguish North Carolina, even among other locales that have passed similar bathroom bills.
Support for the move poured in from equal rights groups as well as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who wrote on social media that the organization was “right to pull the games,” adding, “Discrimination has no place in America.”
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Meanwhile, the state GOP issued a response described by Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as “unhinged” and “sickening.”
Put forth by NCGOP spokeswoman Kami Mueller, it reads:
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