North Carolina’s Republican discrimination rampage is devastating their tourism economy by scaring away national organizations like the NBA, who pulled its All-Star game out of the state. Now, the NCAA has done the same, moving seven championship athletic events – including coveted basketball events – from the Tar Heel state. The New York Times reports:
The National Collegiate Athletic Association said on Monday that it would relocate all seven previously awarded championship events from North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year because of concerns over laws passed by the state that it said violated the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
North Carolina’s hospitality industry recorded numbers for tourism in 2015, which it may never see again after deterring hundreds of thousands of visitors for these athletic events alone. Because many of the bookings are next year, Republican Governor Pat McCrory who has become the face of HB2 is trying to spin North Carolinians by saying that nothing has changed in their economy, but many of these large bookings lost will be felt in 2017. As the Times reports, there are some very specific reasons the NCAA dumped North Carolina as an athletics events host:
The N.C.A.A. said on Monday that the legal situation facing L.G.B.T. people in North Carolina was unique because of what it called “four specific factors.” Among them were laws that barred transgender people from using public restrooms that correspond to their gender identity and laws that allow government officials to refuse to provide services to L.G.B.T. people.
The N.C.A.A. also criticized a North Carolina law that forbids local municipalities from passing their own anti-discrimination laws that included sexual orientation or gender identity. Five states and a number of cities have also passed laws that bar public employees and representatives of public institutions from traveling to North Carolina, which the organization said could be interpreted to include student athletes and university athletics staff members.
“The NCAA has a responsibility to it’s student athletes to protect their safety and well being,” said teacher and Florida State Senator Dwight Bullard, who is running against a Republican opponent that proposed a similar discrimination law in their legislature’s lower house earlier this year. Florida’s anti-LGBT discrimination law fortunately failed before inflicting any severe ideological damage to the state’s far larger tourism economy, which itself centered around tolerant places like Key West and Miami that Bullard currently represents, “North Carolina with the passage of HB 2 has created an air of intolerance and I fully support the NCAA’s withdrawal of upcoming and future tournaments.”
Here’s a complete list of the seven events cancelled because North Carolina Republicans are too busy discriminating against LGBT people and expanding government into people’s bathroom habits:
2017 Division I men’s basketball championship, first and second rounds (Greensboro), March 17 and 19.
2017 Division II baseball championship (Cary), May 27 to June 3.
2016 Division I women’s soccer championship, College Cup (Cary), Dec. 2 and 4.
2016 Division III men’s and women’s soccer championships (Greensboro), Dec. 2 and 3.
2017 Division I women’s golf championships, regional (Greenville), May 8 to 10.
2017 Division III men’s and women’s tennis championships (Cary), May 22 to 27.
2017 Division I women’s lacrosse championship (Cary), May 26 and 28.
Democratic challenger Roy Cooper is leading Republican incumbent Pat McCrory in the polls for North Carolina’s governor’s race, probably because most state residents disapprove of his poor judgement, while leading the conservative charge to suppress votes, to expand government where it’s unwanted and to restrain their state from protecting people from harmful discrimination.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition.