The NCAA announced last night that it was pulling all championship tournament games scheduled in North Carolina over the next year from the state, as a result of House Bill 2, the transgender bathroom law. They follow a similar move by the NBA in pulling the All-Star Game out of Charlotte.
The most prominent event affected will be the NCAA Men’s Basketball first and second round games in Greensboro, as Duke and/or North Carolina would have been vying to play close to home. Other sports affected include women’s soccer, women’s golf and lacrosse in Division I, the Division II baseball tournament, and both men’s and women’s Division III soccer.
A spokesperson for the North Carolina GOP responded, and went there to Waco.
The first part of the statement is hard to follow, as far as the GOP’s assessment of the NCAA logic. No one is arguing for unisex bathrooms, versus separate men’s and women’s bathrooms. The law is related to requiring a transgender person to use the bathroom of the sex listed on their birth certificate. It seems quite the leap in logic to say the NCAA should require male athletes and cheerleaders to shower together to show consistency with opposing HB 2. It also thus follows that it is hard to see how the decision is an assault on female athletes.
That said, the Baylor line is quite the zinger, and a reminder that no organization is immune from social criticism, glass houses and such. That doesn’t make the law any more palatable, but it is an interesting question about whether organizations like the NCAA should be involved in political statements.
It is treading on slippery ice for an organization like the NCAA to venture into social issues. On the other hand, when it comes to staging events, they are a business who is choosing to take their event to certain locations. You are truly sheltered if you think businesses don’t take and remove their businesses and events from locations all the time because of local laws, not limited to those of a social nature. Things like tax laws, tax breaks, tort laws and liability limits, and other matters are frequent. Legislatures are frequently balancing the best ways to attract businesses and events.
For now, the NCAA has decided that being in North Carolina, where basketball is king, is not in its best interest when it comes to events.