North Carolina hopes 'bathroom bill' deal saves NCAA events

Joel Berry II reacts after a possible injury against Kentucky

Joel Berry II reacts after a possible injury against Kentucky

"The NAACP condemns the perplexing attempt to address the discriminatory HB2 law through a proposal that on the surface repeals HB2, while subtly embedding a greater layer of discrimination and confusion into the state's anti-discriminatory laws".

Joaquin Carcaño, a UNC-Chapel Hill employee and a plaintiff in the ACLU suit against HB2, said the law passed Thursday is a replacement, not a repeal. "This is not a ideal deal, and this is not my preferred solution", he said.

On the left, you've got people like Progress NC Action Executive Director Gerrick Brenner calling the bill a "brutal compromise, the result of a Republican supermajority that is willing to hold North Carolina hostage and inflict economic damage on our state instead of extending dignity and respect to the LGBT community". It was worked out under mounting pressure from the NCAA, which threatened to take away more sporting events.

NCAA president Mark Emmert said Thursday that the association's board of governors would review whether to return events to North Carolina and keep the state in its site selection process for 2018-22.

"We are deeply disappointed that many of our state lawmakers have been swayed by the bully tactics of organizations like the NCAA, who seem intent on using their national standing to push a radical social agenda", Rustin said in a statement. Return tournament games to North Carolina? The decision to move the meet to Atlanta came in protest of North Carolina's House Bill 2 (known colloquially to many as HB2 or the "bathroom bill") passed in 2016. The new bill leaves all gay people vulnerable to unequal treatment until past the next presidential election.

On Thursday, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted to repeal the controversial House Bill 2 law, which said that transgender people would have to use the bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates.

HB2 has prompted businesses to halt expansions and entertainers and sports organizations to cancel or move events, including the NBA All-Star game in Charlotte.

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"We call on the NCAA to oppose this shameful HB2.0 bill in North Carolina, and not to reward lawmakers who have passed this so-called "deal" which is an affront to the values we all hold", the letter said.

Today, the North Carolina Senate voted 32-16 to pass the bill, and the House voted it through by 70 to 48. Under the new measure, local governments can't enact any new such protections until December 2020.

It's hard to celebrate fending off disaster with the NCAA when North Carolina remains one of the least welcoming and inclusive states in the nation. Furthermore, it says that only state government can set policies for transgender access to public bathrooms and locker rooms - and there's now no state guidance on the issue. Cooper added he preferred a complete repeal of HB2.

So what were the four concerns the NCAA had about HB2 when it moved sports championship events out of North Carolina a year ago?

While state legislators and Gov. Roy Cooper are hailing this as a last-minute collaborative victory, it looks to me a lot more like smearing lipstick on a pig.

A transgender man who works at the University of North Carolina, Joaquin Carcano, spoke against the deal during the Senate committee meeting. "It was a very, very hard decision for the board to make, and I'm sure the next decision will be very hard as well". The sports governing body had removed neutral-site championships from the state for the current school year.

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance issued a joint statement following Thursday's vote saying they were "cautiously optimistic" that the legislative compromise would placate prospective visitors, but acknowledged that it was still an open question.

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