Duke and UNC’s men’s basketball teams begin their march for championships today in the NCAA tournament. But instead of getting a home state advantage, they’ll have to travel south of the border. Because of House Bill 2, the games will be played in Greenville, South Carolina instead of Greensboro. The NCAA pulled championship events from the state because of the law, which is still on the books. Repeal efforts are faltering.
Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski has previously called the law "embarrassing." He spoke on the situation yesterday.
UNC Coach Roy Williams has previously called HB2 a "stupid law," here HE was yesterday.
UNC plays Texas Southern at 4:00 and Duke plays Troy at 7:20. If Duke wins, their next opponent could be South Carolina, who would be playing with more of a home court advantage.
North Carolina has 133 bids for NCAA championship games through 2022. Those bids are said to be imperiled by the existence of HB2. Clean repeal bills have gone nowhere and a bill put forward by Hendersonville Republican Chuck McGrady that had garnered some bi-partisan support appears stalled as well.
House Bill 2 was passed and signed by previous Republican Governor Pat McCrory in response to a Charlotte ordinance that expanded LGBT protections. HB2 rolled those protections back, mandating which restrooms transgender people can use, and preventing any municipality from passing anti-discrimination laws for LGBT people. Bill sponsors claimed it would protect the privacy of women and children. Opponents called it discrimination against gay and transgender people. The ensuing backlash cost the state business, conferences, concerts, and sporting events. The damage is conservatively estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.