The following editorial appeared in the Charlotte Observer on Wednesday
Well, it worked.
The so-called repeal of HB2 brought the NCAA back to North Carolina. And that’s what it was all about for Gov. Roy Cooper, legislators, the NCAA and the business community.
The NCAA’s announcement Tuesday that it would bring 36 championship events to North Carolina through 2022 was uplifting news for the state. It was great for sports fans (ask Duke supporters about the difference between playing in Greensboro and playing in Greenville). And it will directly help the low-income workers who earn a small paycheck from the events.
The only people who aren’t celebrating are the LGBT residents (and those sympathetic to them), who are the odd ones out in this happy ending. North Carolina still sanctions discrimination against them, but the state didn’t consider that too big a price when it made a deal to get back in the NCAA’s good graces, and the prize came Tuesday.
NCAA first- and second-round men’s basketball games will be played in Greensboro in 2020 and in Raleigh in 2021. Greensboro will host women’s tournament games in 2019.
Only three states won more events than the 36 North Carolina nabbed.
HB 142 supporters point out that many other states provide no more protections than North Carolina. Even federal statute leaves sexual orientation out of its list of protected classes (though a federal judge this month ruled otherwise). That only goes to prove how far we have to go.