This week, the state of North Carolina moved to “repeal” the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act — or as you know it, House Bill 2/HB2/the bathroom bill. Faced with pressure from the NCAA regarding consideration for future championships, they made the move largely to avoid the potential $4 billion loss from not hosting games -- rather than do right by the people the bill discriminated against.
I’m happy for the state. I really am. There’s no denying that the economic benefits will be great for smaller towns. And the cities that host these events -- Charlotte, Raleigh — were against HB2 from the start.
But it’s easy to have a problem with the way the ACC handled the situation.
When the conference made the decision last year to stick it to the state for passing HB2, they deemed the bill to be in contrast to the ACC’s mission to foster an inclusive environment for all of its student-athletes.
Fast-forward one year later, and the conference decided to send out a very small statement about throwing North Carolina right back into the mix:
Full memo: "The ACC Council of Presidents has voted that North Carolina will again be considered for hosting future ACC Championships."— John Cassillo (@JohnCassillo) March 31, 2017
Here are some thoughts I have about this e-mail:
It only consists of one line. Sure, that makes it short, sweet and to the point, but it gives off an out-of-touch vibe, and a true lack of accountability.
This new deal that was signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper leaves some of the harshest provisions in place. And potentially, it fails to really remove the parts the ACC and NCAA expressed issue with when the original law was passed. It leaves the decision up to legislative officials on how to operate public bathroom usage. The new bill also forbids individual businesses to implement anti-discrimination laws for themselves until 2020.
It seems as though the conference board didn’t thoroughly look through this compromise — if you even want to call it that — from beginning to end. LGBTQ groups are unhappy, to say the least. This is mostly because it is a prime example of putting money ahead of everything. They would have much rather seen a complete repeal of HB2.
As I mentioned earlier, I completely understand the decision from an economic standpoint.
But if the ACC actually cared about the well-being of all of its student-athletes (and commissioner John Swofford’s actions on this matter is evidence they don’t), the next step would be to make a donation to LGBTQ groups in North Carolina. Or publicly partner with those groups for scholarships and future events. Or literally anything but what they just did.