The National Collegiate Athletic Association has agreed to consider future hosting bids by North Carolina
College basketball may return to the Tar Heel state.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association said today that its board had agreed to consider future championship hosting bids by North Carolina, following last week’s repeal of HB2, a law that had prevented transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. The NCAA relocated its events for the 2016-2017 academic year after North Carolina enacted the so-called “bathroom bill” last year, citing the presence of a non-inclusive climate.
“This new law has minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment,” the organization said in a statement. “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.”
NCAA Board of Governors’ position on HB2 Repeal: https://t.co/AawZtrZnlG
— NCAA (@NCAA) April 4, 2017
The NCAA’s announcement is a win for Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, who brokered a compromise last week with pro-business Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature. HB2 has come at significant cost to the state’s economy: a recent Associated Press analysis found that HB2 would cost the state more than $3.7 billion, while companies like PayPal and Lionsgate Entertainment had junked plans to expand there.
LGBT advocates decried the deal, noting that it prevented local municipalities from enacting non-discriminatory provisions until 2020. HB2 had been enacted following the passage of a Charlotte ordinance that allowed transgender individuals to use the bathrooms of their choice; this effectively means that North Carolina offers no protections or prohibitions on trans people.
Social conservatives also denounced the repeal, arguing that it was a surrender to out-of-state cultural elites like the NCAA, which denied lobbying for specific changes in the law. “While more work remains to be done, it’s good news that the NCAA will be returning to North Carolina,” said Cooper in a statement. “We will continue our work with them to fight for statewide anti-discrimination protections for LGBT North Carolinians.”
The NCAA acknowledged that not everybody was happy with the status quo, saying: “As with most compromises, this new law is far from perfect.”
This article was updated to include comment from Gov. Roy Cooper.
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