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NCAA will hold events in North Carolina again after partial repeal of ‘bathroom law’

The Final Four logo is seen last week on the University of Phoenix Stadium before the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The NCAA said Tuesday it will lift its ban on holding events in North Carolina after the state decided to partially repeal its controversial "bathroom bill." (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The NCAA released a statement Tuesday stating it will lift its ban on holding events in North Carolina after the state decided to partially repeal its controversial "bathroom bill."

HB2, which was signed into law in March 2016, directed all public facilities to require that multiple-occupancy bathrooms and locker rooms be designated for use only by people according to their biological sex. Shortly after the bill was passed, the NCAA announced it would move at least seven of its championship events out of the state, citing the controversial law as the reason for its decision.

"We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships," NCAA president Mark Emmert said at the time.

But just days after North Carolina issued a partial repeal of HB2, the NCAA has reluctantly agreed to hold events in the state again.

"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," the statement read.

The legislation passed by the North Carolina Legislature prohibits cities from requiring businesses to provide transgender restrooms, or from requiring businesses to accommodate transgender individuals from using the bathroom of the gender they identify with. The original HB2 was passed in response to just such a measure, which was passed by the city of Charlotte.

The NCAA added that it  could reverse its decision at any time, should the environment change in the future.

"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. 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," it said.

"In the end, a majority on the NCAA Board of Governors reluctantly voted to allow consideration of championship bids in North Carolina by our committees that are presently meeting," the statement said.

The repeal of HB2 last week came after many voiced concerns about the financial revenue the state would lose from large venue events as a result of the law. The Associated Press reported in March that the law would cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over the next 12 years. In addition to the NCAA, many other sporting bodies and musical performers had refused to perform in the state.

 

 

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