The National Junior College Athletic Association said Monday it is relocating its 2017 baseball championship from North Carolina because of the state’s controversial House Bill 2.
The division III baseball championship was to be played in Kinston, which is about 80 miles southeast of Raleigh. The NJCAA said it will work to find a replacement site immediately.
In its decision to relocate, the association’s leaders cited part of the school’s mission statement, which emphasizes promoting competitive athletics in an “inclusive environment” for all student-athletes, coaches and administrators of its member institutions.
“It was determined by the executive committee that the current HB2 law in North Carolina poses specific challenges to the inclusive environment the NJCAA believes should not be in question at its national championships,” the association said.
Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB2 into law in March to nullify a Charlotte ordinance, which had generated controversy by protecting transgender people who use public restrooms based on their gender identity. HB2 also overrode local ordinances around the state that would have expanded protections for the LGBT community.
The NJCAA’s decision is the latest in a streak of HB2-related sporting event relocations. Last week, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association said that it will relocate eight out of 10 sports championships from the state. The NBA, NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference have already relocated events from the state over the law.
Efforts to reach a compromise on HB2 have not been successful. McCrory has said the issue of “redefining gender and basic norms of privacy” will be resolved in federal courts.