Statements from officials, activists, politicians and others reacting to the announcement that the NCAA would pull seven championship events from North Carolina over House Bill 2, including NCAA men’s basketball tournament games.
UNC President Margaret Spellings: “We are surprised and disappointed by the NCAA’s decision and regret the impact it will have on North Carolina's student-athletes, coaches, athletic staffs, fans, and the North Carolina communities previously chosen to host these championship events. As reflected in long-standing University policy, UNC campuses do not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, and we are fully committed to being open and welcoming to individuals of all backgrounds. We remain caught in the middle of a conflict between state law and federal guidance, and we welcome a speedy resolution of these issues by the court.”
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin: “The NCAA just sent a clear message to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and state lawmakers that it will not tolerate hateful laws targeting student athletes, fans, and employees.”
Kami Mueller, spokeswoman, NC Republican Party: “This is so absurd it's almost comical. I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams. Under the NCAA’s logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers and hotel rooms. This decision is an assault to female athletes across the nation. If you are unwilling to have women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, how do you have a women's team? I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor. Perhaps the NCAA should stop with their political peacocking — and instead focus their energies on making sure our nation’s collegiate athletes are safe, both on and off the field.”
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Democratic state Rep. Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality North Carolina, in a tweet: .@NCGOP has declared war on @NCAA basketball... Seems like a winning NC political strategy. #hb2 #ncpol
N.C. Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue, a Wake County Democrat: “The stigma left on our state by HB2 is eating away at the fabric of North Carolina. We have worked hard to define who we are as a state – and I am proud of North Carolina and the people that call it home. With this bill, we are losing so much of who we are. ... The cost of holding a special session is a drop in the bucket compared to the continued legal costs, economic costs and damage to our state’s reputation. Regardless of what side of the aisle we are on, it’s time to take action that is in the best interest of the state.”
Ford Porter, spokesman, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper’s campaign for governor: “It seems that almost every day, we learn of a new consequence of HB2. Hosting NCAA championship events has long been a point of pride for North Carolina. These tournaments pump money into our economy and give our communities and fans a chance to showcase our incredible tradition of college sports. Now, our ability to host these events at the highest level has been eliminated because of Governor McCrory and HB2. Enough – we need to repeal this law and get our state back on track.”
Dave Miranda, spokesman, N.C. Democratic Party: “What a disappointment for basketball fans. Add this to the thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars Pat McCrory’s discrimination bill have cost North Carolina. Fortunately, voters will soon have a chance to undo the damage McCrory and Republicans in the General Assembly have done and put our state back on track.”
John Burns, Wake County commissioner, in a tweet: “I am truly sick of my progressive cosmopolitan county paying the price for someone else's bigotry.”