GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Atlantic Coast Conference has announced that it will relocate all neutral site championships due to North Carolina House Bill 2.
The announcement came Wednesday afternoon.
It’s all over the state’s law, which some contend leads to discrimination against LGBT people.
The ACC Council of Presidents voted Wednesday to relocate the league’s championships until North Carolina repeals the law if it ever does. The decision affects all championships for this academic school year. That means relocating the ACC football title game that was scheduled to be played in Charlotte in December.
On Monday, the NCAA said it would relocate seven of its championships scheduled to be played in the state. That includes the the men’s basketball first- and second-round matchups scheduled for next March in Greensboro, North Carolina.
ACC Commissioner John Swofford said after the NCAA’s decision that his league would review its next steps.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Governor Pat McCrory released the following statement regarding the ACC’s recent decision on 2016-17 championship events:
“The issue of redefining gender and basic norms of privacy will be resolved in the near future in the United States court system for not only North Carolina, but the entire nation. I strongly encourage all public and private institutions to both respect and allow our nation’s judicial system to proceed without economic threats or political retaliation toward the 22 states that are currently challenging government overreach.”
Earlier in the day, the chancellors of both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and NC State University issued a joint statement on the ACC decision.
Chancellors comment on ACC decision:
We appreciate the Council of Presidents’ reaffirmation of the ACC’s strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as the decision to keep ACC championship contests on our campuses. However, we regret today’s decision will negatively affect many North Carolinians, especially in the affected host communities.
UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State remain steadfast in our commitment to welcoming and supporting all people. Our policies protect students, faculty and staff from discrimination, regardless of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. As such, we remain dedicated to providing and promoting equal opportunity and non-discrimination to everyone who participates in athletic events on our campuses.
Chancellor Randy Woodson Chancellor Carol L. Folt
On its website, the ACC released the following statements about the decision:
Statement from the ACC Council of Presidents:
“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 ACC presidents engaged in a constructive, wide-ranging and vigorous discussion of this complex issue over the past two days. The decision to move the neutral site championships out of North Carolina while HB 2 remains the law was not an easy one but it is consistent with the shared values of inclusion and non-discrimination at all of our institutions.”
“The ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and the opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount. Today’s decision is one of principle, and while this decision is the right one, we recognize there will be individuals and communities that are supportive of our values as well as our championship sites that will be negatively affected. Hopefully, there will be opportunities beyond 2016-17 for North Carolina neutral sites to be awarded championships.”