Following the NCAA’s decision on Monday to remove upcoming tournaments from North Carolina, the ACC followed suit, removing neutral site 2016-17 tournament games from the state.
Motivated by House Bill 2, these decisions risk millions of dollars in revenue for the state and host cities. Passed in March, this controversial law prohibits cities and counties from passing non-discrimination ordinances for members of the LGBT community and requires transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding with their birth certificate.
The ACC’s decision affects only games at neutral sites, not games hosted by universities.
“As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values and therefore, we will continue to host ACC Championships at campus sites,” read a press release from the ACC Council of Presidents.
Chancellor Randy Woodson and UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt responded to the ACC’s decision in a joint statement.
“We appreciate the Council of Presidents’ reaffirmation of the ACC’s strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as the decision to keep ACC championship contests on our campuses. However, we regret today’s decision will negatively affect many North Carolinians, especially in the affected host communities,” the statement read.
NC State Athletics Director Debbie Yow further affirmed Woodson and Folt’s statement.
“We will continue to welcome the opportunity to host ACC and NCAA championships in a safe, healthy and non-discriminatory environment,” Yow said, according to The News & Observer.
The NCGOP released a statement in opposition to the decision from the NCAA.
“This is so absurd it’s almost comical. I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams. Under the NCAA’s logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers and hotel rooms,” said Kami Mueller, spokeswoman for the Republican Party.
Technician was unable to find evidence that the NCAA has suggested merging teams or bathrooms in such a manner.
The town of Cary stands to lose $2.5 million from the NCAA and ACC withdrawal according to a conservative estimate Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht gave WRAL.
“Before the Charlotte decision, I did not hear of any issues related to bathrooms,” Weinbrecht said, according to WRAL. “Now there are political ads by the governor defending HB2 as a safety law. This is politics in its purest form plain and simple.”