NCAA Pulls Championships From North Carolina Over Anti-LGBT Law

NCAA President Mark Emmert answers questions during a news conference at the Men's Final Four college basketball tournament Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced on Monday that it would pull seven championship games from North Carolina over the states anti-LGBT law known as HB2.

In the announcement, the NCAA said that North Carolina laws make it challenging to “promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans.”

“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “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 NCAA announcement follows the NBA’s decision to pull its 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, North Carolina, over HB2.

The law keeps transgender individuals form using public restrooms that align with their gender identity and prevents local governments from passing laws to protect LGBT individuals from discrimination.

In a Monday night statement, University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings said the university is “surprised and disappointed by the NCAA’s decision.”

“As reflected in long-standing University policy, UNC campuses do not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, and we are fully committed to being open and welcoming to individuals of all backgrounds,” she said. “We remain caught in the middle of a conflict between state law and federal guidance, and we welcome a speedy resolution of these issues by the court.”

And the North Carolina Republican Party responded with an angry statement, blasting the NCAA’s decision as an “assault to female athletes” and claiming that the NCAA does not want to have separate lockers rooms for men and women. The state GOP also used conservatives’ favorite defense of bathroom bills — that they protect women’s privacy and safety — and mentioned the Baylor University football players charged with sexual assault.

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