The NCAA has threatened to disallow North Carolina from hosting any championship events through 2022 following the state’s reluctance to repeal their controversial HB2, also known as the “bathroom bill.”
The North Carolina Sports Alliance sent a letter to the state’s lawmakers Friday warning, “Our contacts at the NCAA tell us that, due to their stance on HB2, all North Carolina bids will be pulled from the review process and removed from consideration.”
If the NCAA go through with their decision to bar championship events like bowl games and March Madness rounds from North Carolina, the Sports Alliance warned that the state faces a negative economic impact of $500 million, CNN reports.
In August, a judge ruled against the enforcement of the HB2 at the University of North Carolina. The law requires transgender students and employees to use the restroom associated with the gender on their birth certificate. Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski also criticized the bill.
Then-North Carolina governor Pat McCrory signed the “bathroom bill” into law in March 2016; McCrory lost the governorship to Democratic nominee Roy Cooper on Election Day.
“There is no time to waste in repealing House Bill 2,” Cooper said in a statement following the North Carolina Sports Alliance’s letter. “The bipartisan votes of both Democrats and Republicans are there for repeal if the Republican legislative leadership will just put it to a vote.”
However, both houses of the North Carolina state legislature remain controlled by Republicans.
The NC Values Coalition, who support HB2, said of the NCAA’s warning in a statement, “The NCAA’s threats to pull games from North Carolina again is nothing short of extortion against the taxpayers and innocent fans who don’t want to see sports politicized. The NCAA continues to segregate athletes’ teams by their genitalia, but they mandate nobody else may do the same.”
In addition to the NCAA and NBA – who withdrew their 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte and relocated it to New Orleans over the “bathroom bill” – dozens of artists have boycotted the Tar Heel State, including Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Maroon 5, Demi Lovato and Ringo Starr.
On Friday, the NFL warned the state of Texas, which just hosted Super Bowl 51 in Houston, that a similar “bathroom bill” that’s been proposed in the state could impact their chances of hosting future Super Bowls, the Los Angeles Times reports.