The NCAA lifted their ban on their events held in the State of North Carolina on Tuesday due to a bill that was seen as being discriminatory against LGBTQ people.
“We have been assured by the state that this new law allows the NCAA to enact its inclusive policies by contract with communities, universities, arenas, hotels, and other service providers that are doing business with us, our students, other participants, and fans,” the NCAA said in a statement. “Further, outside of bathroom facilities, the new law allows our campuses to maintain their own policies against discrimination, including protecting LGBTQ rights, and allows cities’ existing nondiscrimination ordinances, including LBGTQ protections, to remain effective.”
HB2, known as the “bathroom bill” and signed into law last March, banned people from using public restrooms that don’t correspond to their sex as listed on their birth certificate. The bill also reserved the right to pass nondiscrimination legislation to the state legislature, saying state laws preempt any local ordinances.
The bill was met with resistance from groups that do business in North Carolina. The NCAA wasn’t the only sports entity to move their events out of the state in response to the bill. The NBA moved their All-Star game out of North Carolina due to the bill, a move that CNN reported may have cost Charlotte an estimated $100 million in revenue.
The NCAA removed the first and second round games of the 2017 NCAA Men’s basketball tournament that was scheduled to take place in Greensboro.
“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” said NCAA president Mark Emmert in a press release last year. “We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.”
The NCAA relocated six other championships from North Carolina, including the men’s and women’s Division III soccer championships and the women’s Division I lacrosse championships. The controversial bill has also strained the relationship between North Carolina and the NBA. The league pulled its All-Star Game that was slated to be played in Charlotte this past February after the bill was announced.