The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has decided to relocate seven previously awarded college basketball games from North Carolina because of the state’s “bathroom law,” which is widely seen as discriminatory toward the transgender community.
The NCAA will not host any championship games in the state this year, nor award any while the law remains on the books, making this only the fourth time in the last 100 years when North Carolina has not held a championship game.
The move follows a similar decision from the NBA in July, which moved its all-star game out of the state over the bill.
HB2, which earlier this year was signed into law by Republican governor Pat McCrory, makes it illegal for anybody to use the public facilities — such as bathrooms and locker rooms — that do not correspond to the sex on their birth certificates. The controversial law has inspired vocal condemnation from athletes, entertainers, and politicians, with even Bruce Springsteen refusing to play shows in the state.
Surprisingly, the two schools with perhaps the most on the line, Duke and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, both came out in favor of the ban, with athletic directors from both schools releasing public statements supporting the NCAA’s decision.
Kevin White, the athletic director from Duke said: “We agree with the NCAA’s decision. Our position has been clear on this matter … We deplore any efforts to deprive individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, of legal protections and rights.”
And Bubba Cunningham, who holds the same position at UNC, agreed, saying: “Carolina Athletics is steadfast in its commitment to fairness, inclusion and ensuring that all who come to our campus for athletics events are welcome.”
Their responses were markedly different from North Carolina Republican Party Spokesperson Kami Mueller, who called the NCAA decision “absurd” and “almost comical.”
“I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams,” she wrote. “Under the NCAA’s logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers and hotel rooms.”
Mueller went even further, calling the move an “assault to female athletes across the nation,” and saying, “I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor.”
If she is upset now, just wait until she hears what is being discussed at the Atlantic Coast Conference. That conference is planning to discuss their reaction to HB2 this week, and if a statement released yesterday from the ACC’s commissioner, John Swofford, is anything to go by, the news won’t be good for Mueller and her ilk.
“On a personal note,” he wrote, “it’s time for this bill to be repealed as it’s counter to basic human rights.”