The All Star Game is not the only sporting event being taken away from the State of North Carolina.
Yesterday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, and Equality NC, the statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for LGBTQ North Carolinians, hailed the NCAA’s decision to stand up for LGBTQ equality by moving all 2016-2017 championship events out of the state of North Carolina due to the anti-LGBTQ HB2 law. In their decision for the move, the NCAA cited their commitment to an “inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans.”
“The NCAA just sent a clear message to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and state lawmakers that it will not tolerate hateful laws targeting student athletes, fans, and employees,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Every day that HB2 remains on the books, countless people across North Carolina are at risk of real harm. NCAA President Mark Emmert has shown tremendous leadership by taking a bold stand for equality in the face of discrimination. It’s long past time state lawmakers repealed this vile law, and if they don’t, the majority of voters opposed to HB2 will ensure they pay the price in November.”
“The hits keep coming thanks to Governor McCrory and the General Assembly leadership,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “From Charlotte to Greensboro to Raleigh and everywhere in between, it has become clear that the shadow HB2 has cast on North Carolina is hurting our economy, our reputation, and our people every day. Pat McCrory clearly knew that signing HB2 would not just endanger LGBT North Carolinians, but would cost us business, tourism, and events like this. The answer: we must repeal HB2 and we must have real leadership in the Governor’s office in 2017.”
Prior to today’s decision, the NCAA had previously announced that North Carolina cities no longer qualified to host NCAA events because HB2 ripped away any local LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination laws. The NCAA’s announcement today follows the NBA’s recent decision to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of the state because of HB2, costing North Carolina an estimated 100 million dollars in All-Star Game related profits. Citing the hostile environment created by the anti-LGBTQ law, and after repeated warnings the league would move the event if the law remained on the books, the NBA announced it was moving the game out of Charlotte after state lawmakers failed to repeal the measure.
Recognizing the importance of creating a positive and conducive environment for business, in February, the Charlotte City Council passed city-wide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. While city leaders sent a clear message that discrimination has no place in Charlotte, in response, Gov. McCrory and state lawmakers rammed HB2 into law and doubled down on discrimination.
What are your thoughts on the NCAA decision?