Politics & Government

Majority of basketball coaches: NCAA should ban tournaments in NC over HB2

HB2: A timeline for North Carolina’s controversial law

North Carolina repealed HB2 in 2017 but left intact some of its provisions. But with Charlotte’s reputation tainted, the city is still paying to market itself to visitors.
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North Carolina repealed HB2 in 2017 but left intact some of its provisions. But with Charlotte’s reputation tainted, the city is still paying to market itself to visitors.

More than half of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I basketball coaches interviewed by CBS Sports say they believe the organization should ban NCAA tournament games in North Carolina over House Bill 2.

According to a CBS Sports article posted Tuesday afternoon, basketball writers Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander polled 110 D-I coaches and asked them about the bill that made national headlines.

HB2 requires individuals to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificate in government buildings, schools and universities, and initially took away the ability of employees to sue their employers in state court for discrimination or wrongful termination, among other things.

Months later, the legislature voted only to change a portion of HB2 that stripped workers of the right to sue their employers for wrongful termination.

The bill was passed in a one-day special session in late March and was signed by Gov. Pat McCrory later that night.

It came as a response to a non-discrimination ordinance passed in February by the Charlotte City Council. The ordinance broadly defined how businesses should treat gay, lesbian and transgender customers. The debate, as in other cities, focused on bathrooms.

In late July, the National Basketball Association announced it was moving the 2017 NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte over House Bill 2.

“Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change,” the league said in a July statement. “We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league. These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.”

“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2,” it continued.

Less than 24 hours later, the NCAA asked cities hoping to be the host of future championships to specifically outline how they will protect participants and spectators from discrimination.

Bidding cities must complete a questionnaire by Friday detailing any local anti-discrimination laws, provisions for refusal of services and other facility-specific information.

Currently awarded host sites have a separate deadline to submit the same information, but the deadline will be determined later.

Parrish and Norlander say they asked more than 100 D-I coaches if the “NCAA should refuse to host any more NCAA tournament games in North Carolina “until the HB2 law is amended or eradicated?”

Of the group, they said 56 percent answered yes.

Norlander added that “a number of North Carolina-based head coaches told me they believe the NCAAT should leave NC until HB2 is changed,” but said the Tar Heel state voted on both sides.

WBTV is the Observer’s news partner.