By WENDY PARKULO / Staff Writer
It is certainly unexpected that bathrooms would dictate the location of sport championships; however this has become the case with the state of North Carolina. North Carolina recently passed House Bill 2, colloquially known as the “bathroom bill”, which dictates that people are not allowed to use a restroom facility that differs from the gender dictated on a person’s birth certificate. The bill has sparked outrage at the inequality and discrimination blatantly being shown against the LGBT community. Many organizations are now taking a stand and moving their events out of the state until their laws are amended. The ACC is the latest sports organization to join the movement, making the decision to relocate ten neutral site championships of eight different sports from the state. The ACC is following the lead of the NCAA and the NBA who have previously announced moves for their events as well.
The ACC Council of presidents released a statement saying, “As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values and therefore, we will continue to host ACC Championships at campus sites. We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year. All locations will be announced in the future from the conference office.”
The 2016 Football ACC Championship game was scheduled to be held in Charlotte but will now in accordance with the statement have to be moved. There is a possibility of it returning to a place it was previously held, potentially Jacksonville or Tampa, Florida or it could move somewhere new. That loss of that event combined with the other nine championships will be major blow to the North Carolina economy. It is expected that these relocations could cost the city of Greensboro alone, approximately five million dollars as it is losing swimming, basketball, and golf championships. Even people in the state are fed up with their legislature’s recent decisions. Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro scathingly stated that, “It has never been more clear than it is right now – HB2 is hurting our state every minute that it remains law. It’s hurting our people, our reputation, and our economy.” North Carolina has some serious decisions to make in the future if it wants to maintain prosperous and welcoming in our modern society. Sports aren’t the only thing being affected either: musicians have moved concerts, and companies have canceled expansions. North Carolina is facing serious repercussions for its antiquated ideology. The fact that organizations and events are coming together across genres to take a stand gives hope for a diverse, non-discriminatory future for our nation. Hopefully North Carolina will see that changes need to be made both for its prosperity and the prosperity of all its citizens.