NCAA drops NC boycott over bathroom bill

The NCAA pulled its championship games from North Carolina last August because it was concerned about the "cumulative impact" HB 2 had on the state's ability to provide a "safe, healthy, discrimination-free atmosphere" for participants and viewers. Last week, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted to repeal HB2, which said that transgender people would have to use the bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates.

The group also said championships previously awarded to North Carolina for 2017-18 will remain in the state.

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The NCAA says it will consider North Carolina as a host for championship events again after the state rolled back a law that limited protections for LGBT people. The ACC men's basketball tournament is back in Brooklyn in 2018, but is supposed to return to Greensboro and Charlotte in the successive years.

This mirrors the continued concerns raised by local and national LGBT activists, who believe that the repeal does not go far enough and the new law remains discriminatory. "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".

HB2, which became law in March 2016, barred cities and localities from enacting laws to protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and restricted public restroom access for transgender people.

The decision comes five days after the Republican-controlled state legislature approved House Bill 142 and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed it into law.

The NCAA said it has been assured that the new law allows the organization to contract inclusive policies with communities, schools, arenas and hotels.

Officials from the NCAA already warned that the state could lose its opportunity to host championship games over HB2, which targets trans people. The NCAA didn't lobby for a specific change in the law, but was hoping for a full repeal.

The NBA also removed its All-Star Game from Charlotte and several entertainers, including Bruce Springsteen, canceled concerts in the state.

"This replacement law fixes zero issues the NCAA found with the initial law HB2", Athlete Ally said in a statement last week.

The NCAA acknowledged the importance of having successfully conducted championship events in North Carolina played a role in its decision.

  • Joanne Flowers