Saturday, December 16, 2017
Colleges

North Carolina HB2: Sometimes it's good that sports holds sway over us

The NBA went first. So when they go to hold a basketball all-star game in Charlotte, N.C. next year, it'll be a pick-up deal. All those closed minds can just choose up sides.

Now the NCAA and ACC are on the move, warp speed, away from the state of North Carolina and its warped, mouth-breathing idea of lawmaking: House Bill 2, or HB2, an anti-discrimination law that _ wait for it _ discriminates against members of the LGBT community.

You know, it would almost be worth driving to North Carolina just to throw up inside the border.

The NCAA is pulling seven championships from North Carolina, including men's basketball tournament games. The ACC is moving its football title game and other championships out of state. Sometimes sports can make a statement. Sometimes sports can be more than games.

Enough with the talk that this was politically correct.

It's just correct.

All these championships being pulled from the Tar Heel State is a win for freedom and tolerance.

Sometimes it takes sports bringing down the hammer.

Think about it: Would Martin Luther King Jr. Day be celebrated in the state of Arizona if the NFL hadn't pulled a Super Bowl for the 1993 season?

I have no idea if these decisions will lead to a decision to kill HB2, but wouldn't it be grand?

Here's just one nugget of enlightenment in HB2, formally known as The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act: Access to a multi-occupancy single-sex restroom is based on sex as "stated on a person's birth certificate," rather than gender identity.

The one, the only: "Bathroom Law."

"We're going to plug on," North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, who signed HB2 into law, told media this week. "North Carolina is resilient. North Carolina is strong. North Carolina is inclusive. North Carolina is welcoming. And I am going to defend North Carolina."

You do that, Patrick Henry.

Meanwhile, we'll enjoy your ball games.

Sometimes I worry that sport has too much power over us.

This is one of those times I'm glad it does.

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has called HB2 "embarrassing."

Imagine if the Duke-North Carolina basketball games were canceled because the participants refused to play out of protest. I love the idea.

The NFL should be in on this. The Carolina Panthers should be in on this.

One state's ignorance is another's opportunity. There will be a feeding frenzy as other cities and states poach North Carolina events. Tampa Bay will definitely be in the hunt.

Don't be surprised if the next ACC baseball tournament ends up at Steinbrenner Field. Don't be surprised if Tampa Bay takes a swing at again hosting the ACC men's basketball tournament.

There are early-round NCAA men's tourney games scheduled for Greensboro in 2017 and Charlotte in 2018. Orlando has early-round games in 2017, so Tampa is probably out of that mix. But 2018 is in play.

Of course, that's missing the point.

This isn't about where games are going.

This is about where HB2 needs to go _ into the trash.

Better yet, flush it.

It's a shame we have to call on sports to run it up on the governor and legislators until North Carolina sees that this law has no business in this or any other nation.

The NBA got it right. The NCAA got it right. The ACC got it right.

They're taking their balls and going home. Anywhere but North Carolina.

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