North Carolina editorial boards are slamming Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision to stand by his state’s discriminatory House Bill 2 (HB 2) following the NCAA and ACC’s recent plan to remove championship games from North Carolina. Newspaper editorial boards are highlighting the “casualty count” caused by backlash the “hateful” and “disastrous” law has caused and saying it needs to be repealed.
NCAA, ACC Moving Championship Games Out Of North Carolina In Response To HB 2
The NCAA Announced It’s Moving All Championship Tournament Games Out Of North Carolina In Response To HB 2. In a September 12 statement, the NCAA announced it is moving seven championship events out of North Carolina for the 2016-2017 year due to the state’s anti-LGBT bathroom bill. The law, commonly known as HB 2, prevents localities in the state from passing nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people and bans transgender people from using public restrooms that do not match the gender listed on their birth certificate. The decision comes after the NBA moved its 2017 All-Star Game out of the state in response to the anti-LGBT legislation. From The New York Times:
The N.C.A.A., responding to a contentious North Carolina law that curbed anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, will relocate all championship tournament games scheduled to take place in the state over the coming academic year, the organization announced Monday night.
Among the events affected is the Division I men’s basketball tournament, the N.C.A.A.’s most prominent annual event, which had six first- and second-round games scheduled to be played in Greensboro in March.
The announcement followed the N.B.A.’s decision in July to move its 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte but was seen as a particularly substantial blow to officials in North Carolina, where college basketball is central to the state’s culture and pride. North Carolina has hosted more men’s basketball tournament games than any other state, an N.C.A.A. spokesman said.
In a statement explaining the decision by its Board of Governors, which is largely made up of institutional presidents and chancellors, the N.C.A.A. said: “N.C.A.A. championships and events must promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans. Current North Carolina state laws make it challenging to guarantee that host communities can help deliver on that commitment.” [The New York Times, 9/12/16]
Following NBA And NCAA, The ACC Decides To Move League Championships Out Of North Carolina.The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) announced it will also move its championships for this year out of North Carolina in response to HB 2, The Washington Post reported According to a statement, the members of the ACC “reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination.” [The Washington Post, 9/14/16]
North Carolina Editorial Boards Excoriate McCrory, GOP As An “Embarrassment” Because Of His “Disastrous” Unwavering Support of HB2
Winston-Salem Journal: North Carolina Is “Reaping The Madness” Of McCrory’s “New Game” Because Of Myriad Event Cancellations Due To HB 2. The Winston-Salem Journal editorial board attacked the North Carolina GOP and Republican Gov. McCrory for the “game of madness” he and state legislatures began by “push[ing] HB 2 through in a day.” The editorial board mocked McCrory’s administration for falsely asserting that there will be “minimal” economic impact from the “businesses, rock stars, states and other organizations have cancelled events in our state.” From the September 14 editorial:
And not on [McCrory’s] watch will we worry about the loss of a little March Madness when we’ve got our perfectly fine madness game right here, one that began, coincidentally enough, this past March with a pace faster than any of those NCAA players we don’t need anyway. McCrory and legislative leaders pushed HB2 through in a day, and now we’re reaping the madness of his new game, one meaner, louder and with a longer season than NASCAR even.
So what that all those businesses, rock stars, states and other organizations have cancelled events in our state? We don’t need them anyhow. Nor did we need the NBA All-Star Game in the governor’s old ’hood of Charlotte.
Eggheads say the final tally could hit the billions of dollars, but we know they’re wrong because the governor’s administration has said so. It has said the economic impact will be minimal. So there.
In the meantime, we’re loving our own game of madness, howling back at our critics. It’s us against the world, but the governor has our backs. Really. [Winston-Salem Journal, 9/14/16]
News & Record: “HB 2 Is A Hurtful Law That Violates The SIncerely Held Values Of Reputable Organizations” And “Must Be Repealed.” The News & Record editorial board lambasted the North Carolina GOP and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest for their continued support of HB 2, stating the “Republican leaders have done too much damage already but won’t stop.” The editorial criticized the “false narrative” that HB 2 is “necessary to protect women and girls from predatory men in public bathrooms and locker facilities” and called for the “hurtful” law to “be repealed before more harm is done.” From the September 14 editorial:
North Carolina’s Republican leaders have done too much damage already but won’t stop.
“It’s extortion, and it’s shameful extortion,” Lt. Gov. Dan Forest said Tuesday morning, referring to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, an organization with which Greensboro and other North Carolina cities have built a strong relationship.
By accusing the NCAA of criminal conduct, Forest, who was speaking in the absence from the state of Pat McCrory, managed to make matters worse.
“Our women and girls in the state of North Carolina are not for sale,” Forest told WRAL in Raleigh. “They’re not for sale to Hollywood, to any concert venue, to the NBA or to the NCAA.”
This continues the false narrative that House Bill 2 was necessary to protect women and girls from predatory men in public bathrooms and locker facilities.
McCrory didn’t help when, finally issuing his own statement later Tuesday, he urged respect for the judicial process until the courts resolve “the issue of redefining gender and basic norms of privacy.” The NCAA, he added, “failed to show this respect at the expense of our student athletes and hard-working men and women.” This grossly misrepresents the NCAA’s position.
There is no extortion and no disrespect by the NCAA. HB 2 is a hurtful law that violates the sincerely held values of reputable organizations. It must be repealed before more harm is done.” [News & Record, 9/14/16]
News & Observer Rips North Carolina GOP For Supporting HB 2 Despite Economic Ramifications: “The Casualty Count From HB2 is Mounting.” The News & Observer's editorial board admonished the North Carolina Republican Party leadership for failing to “stop the bleeding” and called for it to “repeal HB2 in its entirety.” The editorial highlighted the “casualty count” from HB 2, with “financial damage in the millions” and predicted that as long as GOP legislative leaders remain “dug in” on HB 2 “the damage is going to continue.” From the September 13 editorial:
Talk about painful irony. As the fallout thickened from the NCAA decision to pull from North Carolina all seven championship events scheduled in the state in the 2016-17 academic year, Gov. Pat McCrory was in Washington touting North Carolina’s economy as part of the North Carolina Business and Economic Development Summit.
The NCAA joined an ever-expanding line of individuals and organizations – and states, for that matter – that have repudiated North Carolina following the General Assembly’s passage of the disastrous House Bill 2.
The casualty count from HB2 is mounting. The tally by reliable estimates has employment losses in the thousands and financial damage in the millions.
Will Republicans stop the bleeding and do the only sensible thing here, which is to repeal HB2 in its entirety? No. The spokesperson for the N.C. Republican Party dismissed the NCAA decision, saying, “This is so absurd it’s almost comical.”
Really? One wonders how many of the hotel owners, merchants, store owners and service personnel who might have made big money from these NCAA events or from the NBA game are laughing.
GOP legislative leaders, Senate President pro tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, seem to be dug in when it comes to HB2. As long as they maintain that foolish position, the damage is going to continue [The News & Observer, 9/13/16]
Charlotte Observer: “The Beatings Will Continue, Governor, Until North Carolina Demonstrates That Discrimination Is Not Official State Policy.” The Charlotte Observer editorial board denounced “McCrory and other HB2 defenders” for “misguided” arguments in supporting HB 2. The September 12 editorial warned that “the beatings will continue” unless the legislature repeals the “broadly discriminatory law”:
We are all about common sense, HB2 backers say. The rest of the world is about political correctness run amok. Enough. A majority of North Carolinians has long recognized how misguided that argument is. Its inadequacy is obvious to even more people now that the NCAA has delivered a severe black eye to a college sports-crazed state.
Unfortunately, the beatings will continue, governor, until North Carolina demonstrates that discrimination is not official state policy.
McCrory and other HB2 defenders on Tuesday focused on the provision requiring people to use the bathroom of their gender at birth. But that’s only one part of a broadly discriminatory law. The core of the law bans cities from providing gay citizens basic protections, and eliminated such protections in Charlotte.
HB2 is about far more than bathrooms, and the courts won’t resolve some of the most offensive provisions. Only the legislature can do that, pushed by a governor driven by moral clarity – or the fear of losing his job. [The Charlotte Observer, 9/13/16]
News & Record: ACC Championship Pull-Out “A Bitter Pill To Swallow,” But ACC “Absolutely Correct To Stand Against” HB 2. The News & Record doubled down on its stance toward McCrory’s discriminatory HB 2 following news of the ACC’s decision to withdraw championship games from the state. The Record again called for the “ill-conceived” law to be repealed. From the September 15 editorial:
This is about principle and doing what’s right. And the ACC, which was founded in Greensboro and is headquartered here, was absolutely correct to stand against the state’s notorious anti-LGBT-rights law, HB 2.
The bill was a cynical and underhanded ploy from its conception. It was rushed into law with little study and nearly zero public input on March 23 in a matter of hours.
More often than not, the governor has owned HB 2 proudly, as if the albatross around his neck were a gold medal. When he isn’t misrepresenting what HB 2 actually is, he is making folksy pronouncements about protecting women and children from locker-room predators.
But don’t blame the ACC, the NCAA or the NBA. The responsibility lies squarely at the feet of the governor and the legislature.
And as painful as this may feel, the ACC did what it needed to do. If anybody gets that, Greensboro — the site of the 1960 Woolworth sit-ins and one of the most welcoming cities in the nation for LGBT communities — gets it.
If Republican leaders are smart, they’ll cut their losses and repeal this ill-conceived law. If not, North Carolina voters will have the final say. [News & Record, 9/15/16]