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NCAA Ban on North Carolina Lifted After Bathroom Bill Repealed

Image: NCAA Ban on North Carolina Lifted After Bathroom Bill Repealed

NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks with the media during a press conference for the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium on March 30, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Apr 2017 08:32 AM

The NCAA lifted a championship games ban on North Carolina on Tuesday after the state repealed its controversial so-called "bathroom bill" last month.

The Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, known in North Carolina as House Bill 2, excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide antidiscrimination protections, and requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in many public buildings, The Associated Press noted.

While supporters said the law protected women and children against potential predators, foes charged it was targeted against transgender people and the LGBTQ community.

A deal, House Bill 142, hammered out by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and leaders of the GOP-controlled legislature in late March led to a repeal of HB2 but banned local governments from regulating access to multiple-occupancy restrooms and locker rooms, multiple news sites stated.

The NCAA had moved seven championship events out of the North Carolina this academic year, including first-round men's basketball tournament games from Greensboro to Greenville, South Carolina, in response to HB2's original passage last year, The Washington Post noted.

"We are actively determining site selections, and this new law has minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment," the NCAA said in a statement Tuesday.

"If we find that our expectations of a discrimination-free environment are not met, we will not hesitate to take necessary action at any time. We have been assured by the state that this new law allows the NCAA to enact its inclusive policies by contract with communities, universities, arenas, hotels, and other service providers that are doing business with us, our students, other participants, and fans," the statement continued.

Tom Murray, chief executive of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, told The New York Times that the organization was "grateful" for the NCAA's decision.

"The events that the NCAA touches are far more important to our region than just the significant economic impact they inject into our community," Murray told the Times. "We're energized that we'll be able to both partner with the NCAA and compete to host these events in the coming years."

Critics, though, charged that the state's compromise did not go far enough and the NCAA let state legislators off the hook.

"HB142 continues the same discriminatory scheme put forward by HB2 and does little to protect the NCAA's players, employees, and fans," Equality North Carolina executive director Chris Sgro told NBC News. "The NCAA's decision has put a seal of approval on state-sanctioned discrimination."

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The NCAA Tuesday lifted a championship games ban on North Carolina after the state repealed its controversial so-called "bathroom bill" last month.
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Wednesday, 05 Apr 2017 08:32 AM
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