Under the Dome

HB2 reaction: NCAA adopts new standards for host sites

Butler's Kellen Dunham (24), left, and Kelan Martin (30) celebrate after Butler's 71-61 victory over Texas Tech in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at PNC Arena in Raleigh on March 17, 2016. HB2 has put Raleigh at risk of being cut out of the bid process for future tournaments.
Butler's Kellen Dunham (24), left, and Kelan Martin (30) celebrate after Butler's 71-61 victory over Texas Tech in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at PNC Arena in Raleigh on March 17, 2016. HB2 has put Raleigh at risk of being cut out of the bid process for future tournaments. ehyman@newsobserver.com

The NCAA Board of Governors has adopted an anti-discrimination requirement for sites that bid to host NCAA sporting or educational events, and the policy also has implications for sites already chosen.

An NCAA news release said that “the board’s decision follows the recent actions of legislatures in several states, which have passed laws allowing residents to refuse to provide services to some people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.” It did not mention House Bill 2 by name, but critics of the North Carolina law say it fosters discrimination against transgender people.

The best-known provision of HB2 mandates that people in public facilities use the restrooms and locker rooms that are intended for the gender on their birth certificate, rather than their gender identity.

The NCAA “considers the promotion of inclusiveness in race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity as a vital element to protecting the well-being of student-athletes,” the association’s release says.

The NCAA holds events in North Carolina most years. The Division II baseball championships are scheduled for the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary from May 28 through June 4, and also in 2017 and 2018. The Greensboro Coliseum will host first-weekend games in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament next year, and Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte will do the same in 2018.

Sites bidding for NCAA events must now “demonstrate how they will provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination, plus safeguards the dignity of everyone involved in the event,” the release said.

Asked about venues already chosen, NCAA media relations director Stacey Osburn said they must report to a Board of Governors committee on how they will meet those same standards.

“Full implementation is expected during the current bidding process,” she added.

The governors directed the NCAA national office to finalize the details of how the policy will be implemented, Osburn said.

No one at USA Baseball could be reached for comment Thursday about the Cary event.

The NCAA governors made the decision during their quarterly meeting this week in Indianapolis.

BofA may be affected

A proposed San Francisco ordinance would prohibit that city from entering into contracts with North Carolina-based companies because of House Bill 2.

The proposal would be a blow to Charlotte-based Bank of America, which has an $8 million contract with San Francisco to provide depository and payroll services through August 2018.

The proposal, introduced Tuesday at a meeting of the city’s Board of Supervisors, would build on a travel ban issued a week after Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB2 into law. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was the first to initiate a government-funded travel restriction to North Carolina in opposition to the law.

WFU president objects

The president of Wake Forest University, Nathan O. Hatch, expressed his opposition to House Bill 2 in an email sent this week to students, faculty and staff.

“The operations of private institutions, like Wake Forest, are not directly affected by this legislation,” Hatch wrote. “Our non-discrimination statement provides protection for gender identity and sexual orientation.

“However, there is no doubting HB2’s negative impact on members of our university community and the greater Winston-Salem and North Carolina community; on our institution, as we seek to recruit, retain and welcome students, faculty, staff and visitors; and on our society, as it works to appreciate differences in an increasingly polarized culture.”

He continues: “The divisive nature of HB2 is in sharp contrast with the inclusive values of Wake Forest. For this, among other reasons, I wish to make clear my opposition to it.”

Hatch, 69, grew up in Columbia, S.C., as the son of a Presbyterian minister, and he is a scholar in the study of the history of religion in America. He has been president of WFU since July 2005.

Wake Forest undergraduate faculty adopted a resolution April 11 that called for HB2’s repeal.

An HB2 archive

People are invited to document their experiences with HB2 in a digital archive created by a historian at N.C. State University. The site, “NC HB2: A Citizens’ History,” allows users to submit stories, videos, images and documents, and to browse others’ submissions.

Tammy Gordon, the associate professor of history who created the site, wants primary source materials for reference by scholars and citizens.

“The archive will only be able to function properly if it captures a diversity of experiences, so we encourage individuals on all sides of the issue to share their stories,” Gordon said in an NCSU news release.

Each submission will be reviewed before it is posted.

Items already submitted include a photo of a transgender man entering a women’s restroom, photos of several rallies, a video of protesters singing at the Legislative Building, pool safety tips and a coloring page from the pro-HB2 KeepNCSafe coalition, and at least one personal narrative.

Katherine Peralta contributed to this report.

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