If you follow the NCAA or Carolina politics, you’ve probably heard a lot about HB2 this week. That’s because this weekend, college basketball inevitably collided with North Carolina’s transphobic bathroom laws. Here’s the story:
After North Carolina passed House Bill 2 (HB2) in 2016, a piece of legislation dictating which restrooms the transgender community are allowed to use, the state received a lot of negative attention. In response to the new law, groups around the country decided to protest North Carolina; this included the NCAA, who announced that they wouldn’t any schedule competitions in North Carolina until the law was repealed.
As a result, this past sunday, the Duke basketball team ended up playing their game against South Carolina in South Carolina (instead of Greensboro, N.C., where it would have originally been scheduled to take place). Unfortunately, when the No. 2 seed Duke lost to the No. 7 seed South Carolina, fans got pretty upset.
The HB2 boycott may very well have cost Duke the the game, and it doesn’t stop there. The Tar Heels could also find themselves at a similar disadvantage.
Now, it’s possible that Duke would have lost whether the state repealed HB2 or not, but at least fans wouldn’t be sitting at home wondering what might have happened if they hadn’t passed such crappy laws.
One strange part of this is that there’s not that much support for the bill. A lot of people are vocally opposed the HB2, and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewsk even says the bill was “a stupid thing” and they should “get rid of it”. In fact, the bill is so unpopular that former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory says he’s had trouble getting a job since he left office because everyone thinks he’s “a bigot” now.
But, if the people of North Carolina want the boycotts to stop, the time to act is now. While the NCAA hasn’t given North Carolina a deadline, the state will have to move fast if they want things to change in the near future. Right now, the NCAA is deciding where they want to schedule their events all the way through 2022. If North Carolina doesn’t repeal HB2 before April 18, they won’t be scheduled to host another game until after the 2021-22 season.
Now, that might sound unfair, but apparently the NCAA have actually gone out of its way to give North Carolina time to repeal the law. Two North Carolina city sports commission reps told Sports Illustrated that: “[the NCAA] were gracious. They did more than what you might normally expect of a national governing body.”
So, if you’re in North Carolina and you’d like to help repeal HB2, you can find more information at EqualityNC.org
[PS. Unfortunately, the new location wasn’t perfect either. According to ABC News: “A small group of protesters flew a large Confederate flag from the top of a parking garage next to a South Carolina arena hosting two men’s NCAA Tournament games.”
So I guess that’s a reminder that the rest of the country isn’t perfect either.]