By: Kyle Tooley ~Sports Editor~
The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) pulled all of its league championships out of North Carolina last week following the state’s refusal to repeal an anti- LGBTQ act.
The ACC joins the NBA and the NCAA, who both have removed events from the state because of the law.
ACC commissioner John Swofford decided to play the previously scheduled football and women’s basketball games elsewhere due to the anti-LGBTQ policy violating the ACC’s moral code.
“The ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance,” Swofford said. “Today’s decision is one of principle.”
The ACC is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., and has four schools located in the state. All four of the institutions, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State, Duke and Wake Forest, have issued statements backing the decision of the conference and questioning the law, which is known as “House Bill 2” (HB2).
HB2 forces citizens to use the bathrooms in public buildings of the gender on their birth certificate, not the gender they identify as.
The NCAA, having preached inclusion more and more over the past few years, was quick to pull their men’s basketball tournament games after the passing of the bill. The statement echoes that of the ACC.
“NCAA championships and events must promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans,” the NCAA Board of Governors said in a release. “Current North Carolina state laws make it challenging to guarantee that host communities can deliver on that commitment.”
In total, the NCAA is removing seven championship tournaments from the state, including men’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s soccer and more.
In July, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that the 2017 All-Star Game would be removed from Charlotte after HB2 was passed.
The game has since been relocated to New Orleans.
“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by the current law,” Silver said.
The estimated loss of sports-tourism revenue after the three leagues have pulled events from North Carolina is more than $115 million for the 2017 calendar year.
The state has no plans on appealing the law and the ACC, NCAA and NBA have no intentions on reversing their decisions.