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The NCAA Will End Its North Carolina Boycott After the Fake HB2 Repeal

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The NCAA announced that it will end its boycott of North Carolina after the state sort of (but not really) overturned its controversial HB2 law.

In a statement on their website, the NCAA wrote that the repeal just barely satisfied their non-discrimination rules:

This new law has minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment. 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.

When North Carolina passed its HB2 bathroom bill that banned trans people from using public restrooms that matched their gender identities, a wide variety of celebrities, businesses and organizations vowed a boycott. Among them was the NCAA, which refused to let North Carolina host its championship games. Not only was this a blow to the state’s ego, it also hurt the state’s economy, as these athletic events bring in a good chunk of revenue.

Overall, North Carolina lost more than $500 million from the various boycotts and stood to lose over $3 billion.

But the repeal of HB2 isn’t something to celebrate. Proponents have called it a compromise, but in reality it leaves trans people in a miserable situation. The repeal leaves trans bathroom rights up to the state, so local progressive governments can’t pass laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. The repeal also enacts a moratorium on other ordinances until 2020, so no one will be able to propose pro-trans legislation for another few years.

The NCAA seemed to acknowledge the flaws in the repeal, saying:

As with most compromises, this new law is far from perfect.

While the new law meets the minimal NCAA requirements, the board remains concerned that some may perceive North Carolina’s moratorium against affording opportunities for communities to extend basic civil rights as a signal that discriminatory behavior is permitted and acceptable, which is inconsistent with the NCAA Bylaws.