The NCAA on Monday pulled seven national and regional championships from North Carolina, including first- and second-round men’s basketball tournament games, because of concerns about the state's House Bill 2.
Emphasizing its events “must promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans,” the NCAA will relocate:
▪ Division I Women’s Soccer Championship, College Cup (Cary), Dec. 2 and 4.
▪ Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships (Greensboro), Dec. 2 and 3.
▪ Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, first/second rounds (Greensboro), March 17 and 19.
▪ Division I Women’s Golf Championships, regional (Greenville), May 8-10.
▪ Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships (Cary), May 22-27.
▪ Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship (Cary), May 26 and 28.
▪ Division II Baseball Championship (Cary), May 27-June 3.
The NCAA hasn’t announced where the relocated events will take place, but Kansas City would be happy to add to its championship inventory.
“We have some date and venue conflicts, but bring it on,” said Kansas City Sports Commission president Kathy Nelson in a text message. “We will anxiously await news on how we can offer our city to host.”
The Kansas City area is host to three NCAA championship events this academic year: the Division II men’s and women’s soccer semifinals and finals at Swope Soccer Village, the Division II football championship game at Children’s Mercy Park, and the Division I men’s basketball Midwest Regional semifinals and finals, to be played at the Sprint Center.
According to ESPN, the NCAA will move the first- and second-round NCAA men's basketball tournament games from Greensboro to another site on the East Coast, possibly to South Carolina.
North Carolina’s House Bill 2, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, has been called by critics the nation’s most anti-LGBTQ bill. The law bars local municipalities from creating their own rules prohibiting discrimination in public places based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
North Carolina has a statewide nondiscrimination law. It does not include specific protections for LGBTQ people.
Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has called the bill “embarrassing.”
The NCAA joined the NBA, which took the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, in taking action.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory reacted to the NBA’s decision with a statement that said multiple groups had “misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina.”
Other states have similar laws, but the NCAA outlined where North Carolina is different:
▪ North Carolina laws invalidated any local law that treats sexual orientation as a protected class.
▪ It’s the only state that makes it unlawful to use a restroom different from gender on one’s birth certificate, regardless of gender identity.
▪ The law provides legal protections for government officials to refuse services to the LGBT community.
▪ Five states — New York, Minnesota, Washington, Vermont and Connecticut — have prohibited travel to North Carolina for public employees and representatives of state institutions. That could include athletes and athletic staff from schools in those states.
Last month, Kansas City bid for 55 NCAA championships during 2018-22, Nelson said the region benefited from the political landscape.
Earlier this year, Missouri lawmakers defeated an anti-LGBT “Religious Freedom” bill, and in Kansas no action was taken on an anti-transgender “bathroom bill.”
“We were so fortunate because we were able to check no to both,” Nelson said last month.