One day after the NCAA voted to move championship tournaments and other games from the state of North Carolina over a controversial law that some say can lead to discrimination against LGBT people, the Atlantic Coast Conference has followed suit.
The ACC Council of Presidents voted Wednesday to relocate all of the league's tournaments and championship games from the state for the 2016-17 year, citing HB2's inconsistency with the ACC "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."
Both Florida State University and the University of Miami are ACC member schools.
The law requires transgender people to use restrooms at schools and government buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates, and not the one they identify with. It also excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from local and statewide antidiscrimination protections. HB2 was signed into law earlier this year by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who has defended it as a commonsense safety and security measure.
“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,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford. “Hopefully, there will be opportunities beyond 2016-17 for North Carolina neutral sites to be awarded championships.”
The ACC was scheduled to hold 14 of its 21 championship events in North Carolina this academic year, with 10 of those at neutral sites and the other four on the campuses of Wake Forest (field hockey), Duke (fencing), North Carolina (softball) and N.C. State (wrestling).
The first of those neutral-site events, which are pre-determined championship locations regardless of the teams competing, was men's and women's cross country that was set for Oct. 28 in Cary.
This action by the ACC is the latest in a steady stream of public and business backlash against the law.
The NBA moved its 2017 All-Star Game to New Orleans instead of hosting it in Charlotte as originally scheduled because of the law. Duke's men's basketball schedule had to be reconfigured when Albany backed out due to that state's travel ban, and the Vermont women's basketball team has canceled a December trip to play North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Entertainers like Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and Ringo Starr have canceled plans to play in North Carolina. And PayPal reversed plans to open a 400-employee operation center in Charlotte.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.