The National Collegiate Athletic Association has not necessarily signaled out North Carolina and Governor Pat McCrory for signing the HB2 legislation which is better known as the bathroom bill but a statement the college body put out on Wednesday seemed to be aimed at North Carolina and North Carolina’s ability to hold future NCAA playoff games.
The group stance probably will not make Governor McCrory or the legislation supporters too happy. “The Association considers the promotion of inclusiveness in race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity as a vital element to protecting the well-being of student-athletes, promoting diversity in hiring practices and creating a culture of fairness.” Greensboro and Charlotte, North Carolina will be hosting the early rounds of the Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2017 and 2018 and the NCAA wants to know how those cities plan to protect the rights of everybody in those buildings that will host the games. It also should be pointed out that North Carolina will host a number of lesser publicized college championship rounds in various sports and while none of the events will move the economic needle much including the two men’s early playoff rounds, some businesses will get hurt if the NCAA pulls championship games. The boycotts will send a message. You discriminate, we will pull events. The NCAA statement is also aimed at Mississippi which also passed a new law that some contend is discriminatory against certain segments of the population. Meanwhile the NBA has put off a decision for the time being about the league’s All-Star weekend that is planned for Charlotte next February. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has suggested that if HB2 is not repealed the league may be prepared to pull the weekend event out of Charlotte. Sports organizations can exert pressure on cities and states to change legislation and it is apparently that sports organizations are ready to boycott North Carolina and Mississippi unless laws are changed.
By Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.