Lauletta: First takes on the Flash moving to NC

Dan Lauletta January 6, 2017 185
North Carolina FC has a major announcement scheduled for Monday afternoon. It is expected they will announce the purchase of the Western New York Flash.

North Carolina FC has a major announcement scheduled for Monday afternoon. It is expected they will announce the purchase of the Western New York Flash.

The news came fast and furious in the wee hours as Thursday turned to Friday. The Western New York Flash, NWSL Championship holders, are being sold and moved to North Carolina. The move will mark the first relocation of any club since the league was founded in 2013. Here are my initial thoughts.

Does relocation signal weakness?

Not necessarily. You only have to go back to 2005 to find relocated franchises in MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, and NHL. The WNBA has not only endured relocation but contraction over the last dozen years. It happens.

NWSL is still a small league and most of its ownership groups are local investors willing to take losses in order to run a team and support the league. Joe Sahlen and his family threw plenty of money and other resources into the Flash over the last eight years, all but the first two while competing at the highest level of women’s soccer available. Whatever their reasons for wanting out of the game, it was never likely they were going to find a buyer to keep the team in Western New York.

The good news is that Steve Malik has been angling for a NWSL franchise and was ready, willing, and able to step in to purchase the Flash. When the Flash entered WPS, they were on a white horse after the Chicago Red Stars elected to drop down a division and FC Gold Pride closed up shop. Also that offseason WPS panicked and allowed the Washington Freedom to be sold to Dan Borislow, who was never vetted, ran afoul of league policy, and wound up in litigation that put the final nail in the league’s coffin. (A year earlier, the LA Sol folded after a sale fell through and AEG refused to stay on until another could be found.)

This is a different situation altogether. From specific reports about owners in Los Angeles and Vancouver being close to bringing clubs into NWSL to cities like Atlanta and Salt Lake City, interest in operating women’s pro soccer has never been higher.

Losing the league champions to another city is never ideal but such is life in a small sports venture. Winning may have helped the bottom line some but it was never going to be the magic potion to turn the Flash into an instant moneymaker. Franchises changing cities always has a downside, but this particular case should not be seen as a weakness for NWSL.

What happens to the players?

The fine details are still not known but almost certainly player contracts will be transferred along with the club. Even if the league and new ownership wanted to do a fold and rebirth there is not enough time to pull it off logistically. And Malik and his team should be over the moon to be able to dive into NWSL with a talented side that only figures to get better as the young roster develops.

There could well be players who do not want to play in North Carolina for one reason or another, and I would be surprised if management did not try its best to acquiesce if that is the case.

Technical Director Charlie Naimo—who lives in California—has acted this week like a man preparing for the NWSL draft where the club owns the 2nd and 7th picks. But talks could well have been over Naimo’s head, so it will be interesting to see whether he and coach Paul Riley are retained. Naimo could theoretically continue working from the other coast while Riley, if asked back, would have to decide whether he wanted to relocate for the second straight season.

What about HB2? 

One reason players may not want to play in North Carolina is HB2, a controversial bill that critics say discriminates against the transgender community. The bill was nearly overturned after Election Day but hit a snag in the state legislature.

As a result of the “bathroom bill” the NCAA has pulled all of its events out of the state and the NBA moved its All Star Game. Several entertainers have canceled dates in North Carolina.

I am not going to pretend HB2 is a hot button issue to me personally, but I do believe putting a permanent team in the state is entirely different from a one-off event that is easily relocated. The league—which has not commented directly on whether HB2 would impact its presence in the state—can stand on a moral principle and force the Sahlen’s to make other arrangements. But that strategy could wind up leaving the league out in the cold and maybe out altogether long after HB2 becomes either accepted or expunged.

Furthermore, while events have been taken out of the state, the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets and Carolina Hurricanes all remain. And there has been zero talk of pulling any of those three teams out of the state. There is no reason NWSL cannot figure out its place.

A note to the WNY folks

I remember meeting Joe Sahlen at the 2011 WPS draft and Aaran Lines a short time later. They were excited about bringing professional soccer to the area and together built a winning club. Many players found it difficult to play for Lines, but from a media standpoint both he and Sahlen were easy to work with. Communications folks Jackie Maynard (now with the Pride), Kylie Woyat (now with the Philadelphia Flyers) and Dave Maurer have also been helpful along the way. I also had the pleasure to cross paths with Jeff DiVeronica and Courtney Andros who have covered the team.

General manager Rich Randall has always been willing and able to provide updates on the Flash. Randall, Maurer and others I have never met, are likely to be out of jobs when the club leaves. No matter how exciting things are when the first NWSL match hits North Carolina, those whose livelihoods in Western New York are being altered should not be forgotten.

The fans will also be at a loss, and the fact the Flash were never able to attract enough of them should not take away the loss that will be felt by those who invested their time, money and emotions in the team. And while I don’t know who it was, Sahlen’s Stadium remains the only NWSL venue in which I have seen someone in the stands dressed in a head-to-toe giraffe costume.

Long live the Western New York Flash. And welcome to NWSL soccer in North Carolina.

  • Commenter94

    Actually, there is talk about the Hurricanes leaving — but for financial reasons, not because of the bathroom bill.
    I can see NWSL players objecting more forcefully to playing in North Carolina than their male counterparts. On key issues, women tend to stand up more strongly, plus the financial incentive for playing in NWSL just isn’t there, compared with the men’s leagues, so the women wouldn’t be risking much by playing in Europe instead.
    The Flash should have moved to New York City, which needs an NWSL team.

    • Constant Weeder

      Sky Blue owns the NYC territory, so if you wanted a New York City team it’s not the Flash you would buy. Anyway, this group wanted a North Carolina team.

      • Commenter94

        Sky Blue plays at Rutgers, which is too far away from New York City. If the league wanted a team inside NYC itself, they could do it — and they should do it, in my opinion, if they hope to be successful. If the NWSL players wind up boycotting North Carolina, which I think could happen, the new Flash owners will regret this relocation deal.

        • Constant Weeder

          It’s my understanding (and I’m confident I’ll be corrected if wrong) that NWSL gives teams exclusive rights to a territory 75 miles in radius, which means that any effort to put a team in NYC has to go through Sky Blue. My guess, based on no specific knowledge, is that Sky Blue’s ownership is waiting for a blockbuster offer from the likes of Barcelona or City Football. They certainly don’t appear to be investing in the team.

          • Commenter94

            Territorial rights are always negotiable, rule or no rule, and likely wouldn’t hold up in a court anyway because of antitrust laws (see Raiders’ move to Los Angeles, circa 1982). I’m saying that NWSL really needs a team INSIDE New York City, not 60 miles away.

          • xanthophobe

            Agreed. I live in NYC and have never once been to a Sky Blue game because it’s just too damn far. To say it’s the NYC area team is not accurate, in my opinion. Might be the closest, but I don’t think of them as an NYC team at all.

          • Commenter94

            Even if you took a train to New Brunswick, NJ (closest station to Rutgers), Sky Blue doesn’t provide a shuttle to the stadium. On Long Island, the NASL Cosmos, for all their problems, at least provided free transportation from the nearest train station. The Cosmos understood that in the NY area, many many people don’t own cars. Sky Blue doesn’t understand that.

          • WNY (former) Fan

            Cloud 9, Sky Blue’s supporter club, has day of game rides to and from Yurcak. A reasonable transportation option with team fans.

          • Steglitz49

            Let any WoSo fan use it. The more the merrier.

          • xanthophobe

            Yup. I once tried to figure out how I would get to an SBFC game and it was such a headache. I was really hoping the Red Bulls deal would have worked out in 2014(?)–I would have bought season tickets in a heartbeat.

          • Steglitz49

            Address your concerns to Red Bull HQ in Austria. May as well type in German to be sure they bother to read it. Don’t hold your breath for an answer though.

          • Bruce

            Very much like the case in Chicago. Toyota park is in the middle of nowhere with no mass transit or shuttles.

          • Steglitz49

            Pray, where in Manhattan would you place your soccer stadium and how much would it cost? Maybe there is a lot in Bronx somewhere?

            Wealthy organisations like Man City and Barcelona may well be interested but they will do their market research carefully because they do not want to sully their brand name. They might favor Nashville or Georgetown (KY), for example.

          • Commenter94

            Belson Stadium at St. John’s University (in Queens) would be a good site for an NWSL team. So would the Columbia University football stadium (upper Manhattan). There’s also Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. No need to build a new stadium for NWSL.

          • Rufan

            Belson has seating for about 2,200 and is built on top of a parking garage, so expansion may/may not be possible. Icahn has seating for 5,000 but is the field within the running track possible for soccer? I would assume so. There is a separate soccer field with limited seating.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you.

          • Steglitz49

            Collision with Grid-iron? I can’t see two big names world wide bend knee for a domestic sport.

          • Commenter94

            Belson is a soccer stadium. (St. John’s dropped football years ago). Because NWSL plays during summer, Columbia football field would be available too.

          • Steglitz49

            Whatever floats your boat

          • Can be done

            Take a taxi or walk over to the college campus for a bus up to the Busch campus.

          • Commenter94

            “Take a taxi.” Yeah, I did that a few times. Cost $10 one way, plus tip (after taking a $14 one-way train ride). Easy for you to spend other people’s money, isn’t it? And during summer (NWSL season), Rutgers buses are pretty infrequent, especially after the game ends and you need to get back to the train station. If you try to get a cab back, the cab driver often can’t find the soccer field, or can’t find YOU at the soccer field. That’s why Sky Blue should operate a shuttle, like the Cosmos did.

          • Can be done

            I like it when other people spend their money in NJ.
            It it’s too much $, then don’t go.

          • Commenter94

            I stopped going, because Sky Blue plays too far away from my home in northern NJ. The team should at least play in northern NJ, where people actually live, not the desolate boonies of central NJ.

          • Steglitz49

            Northern NJ? Like Morristown, Madison and Chatham? or, The Oranges and Brick Church? Or Fort Lee and Hacknsack?

          • Steglitz49

            Excuses, excuses, excuses.

          • Constant Weeder

            I can certainly agree that there should be a team in New York. As for legality, I’d guess you could buy the team for less than the cost of such a suit, and certainly with less hard feelings, but who knows?

          • Steglitz49

            Why should there be a team in NYC? It could be Chicago all over again. Why bother?

          • Constant Weeder

            You sound like Sally Brown. As I recall, her motto was “Who cares?”

          • Steglitz49

            The NWSL needs to do proper market research. The NYC area is overloaded with sports teams. How would WoSo get a look in?

            It may well be that peculiar places around the country would be a better base for WoSo than “obvious” big conurbations. After all if you have 10 home games in a city and you want 5,000 fans at each game, the max you need is 50,000 people unless there are repeat offenders because then you need even fewer.

            Half of the population is female and if half of those are old and fit enough to trot along, the max you need is a population of 200,000. You do not need 9m as in Chicago, or 5m as in several other locations. It is overkill. After all, the population of Norway is 5m and Sweden is 10m.

          • Constant Weeder

            I mostly agree with what you have to say, but I don’t think the league has either the cash or other resources to do proper market research. If a well-funded and business savvy group does their homework and wants to try a team in the NYC area, as rumor has it some do, I don’t see why the league shouldn’t welcome the attempt. I do think it would be a possible embarrassment to go along with a poorly conceived move, but in marketing and attendance Sky Blue is already a prime example of what the league is trying to get away from.

          • Steglitz49

            The new team in NC is not an expansion. Instead the owners has bought a team off a peg. The Sahlens were interested in selling their loss-making enterprise. They had no need for it any longer.

            Sky Blue’s owners may well sell if they are offered the right price. The Sahlens did not sell to Man City or Barcelona presumably because those clubs either were not interested or their offers were less. We have not heard a whiff of a bidding-war.

            Maybe there are places south of the Mason-Dixon line of population 500,000 to 1m which would be happy to have a NWSL team. Maybe even places as small as 100,000?

          • guest

            Good point, SBFC may just be holding out for a better offer. I’d never heard this before, but it sounds right, and it explains a lot.

          • Steglitz49

            Cash on the nail and enough of it and the deal is done.

          • Som Termanni
          • They basically had that deal in front of them two years ago with New York Red Bulls, but didn’t want to give up majority ownership so it fell through.

          • Steglitz49

            Garbage. The deal was nixed by Red Bull’s HQ in Austria.

            The only women that Red Bull sponsors are well established individual stars like Lindsey Vonn. They do not sponsor WoSo in their own country in spite of sponsoring several men’s soccer teams even outside of Austria.

      • Lorehead

        While I don’t have the exact text of the contract in front of me, team rights in the NWSL are basically just agreements among the owners not to compete with each other. (Which, in any other line of business, would be illegal collusion.) The rules on paper might say that Sky Blue can keep FC Barcelona or Man City out of NYC, but if the owners do something that blatantly harmful to the league and the other owners, those rules are going to change.

        • Constant Weeder

          You can’t be serious; we all know the NWSL league rules are carved in stone and impossible to change.;-P

    • guest

      “Women tend to stand up more strongly” That doesn’t even pass the laugh test. But you’re right that the women do have less (money) at stake. The business interests that are “making a stand” have more to lose, financially speaking, and so they’re just following the herd, of sheep, In my opinion, out of the state.

      • Commenter94

        If you want to oppose a group of committed, focused and politically active women, be my guest. But in most cases, it’s probably in your best interest to at least listen to their argument.

        • mockmook

          “it’s probably in your best interest to at least listen to their argument”

          Will they listen to ours?

  • MCAS NR

    A typical Lauletta.

    Everything is fantastic

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  • Som Termanni

    NCFC’s owneship and management ties to the Rochester Rhinos run deep. I wouldn’t be surprised if folks like Scott Vallow with Rhinos ties are kept on. On the other hand, Vallow and Zerboni are newlyweds with a recently purchased house in Portland, and might not want to make a third (or for Zerboni, fifth) move in two years.

    Keeping Riley seems like a no brainer, but as I recall Lauletta was stirring the unsourced rumor pot about him potentially not returning even before this deal went public.

    As noted on Twitter, the Flash’s 75-mile market radius included Toronto. That market is suddenly simpler to enter. So is Buffalo if someone else decides to resurrect them as an expansion team on slightly better terms, as the lowly NFL Browns did when their owner moved the team overnight.

  • Som Termanni

    Meanwhile in local media, Buffalo’s paper is reporting press conferences on Monday (and that the Flash lost to Portland in the finals, which is incorrect), and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle is reporting the same (and that the NWSL has 9 franchises, also incorrect).

    • Som Termanni

      Per the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Sahlens tried to strike a deal with the city to run Rhinos Stadium when the Rhinos’ ownership collapsed in 2015, but were stymied when the USL courted David Dworkin as an owner, which flipped the stadium deal back to the Rhinos. http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/sports/soccer/2017/01/06/report-wny-flash-sold-and-relocate-nc/96236206/

      > The team paid rent in 2016 to play at the stadium. But from the way game-day operations were handled to the Rhinos selling tickets to Flash matches, the relationship between the two organizations has never been strong.

      • Bruce

        Selling off prime assets and then renting them back is the hallmark of a cash-strapped organization. The NWSL needs to find owners with deeper pockets and proven management. The NCFC doesn’t meet either of those requirements.

        • Steglitz49

          Owners with deeper pockets may prefer to subsidize sports like X-country skiing and biathlon (ski-shooting) not to forget tiddlywinks.

  • Bruce
    • Gary Diver

      So that is what Jeff Plush looks like? Is this photo up-to-date?

  • Gary Diver

    “No matter how exciting things are when the first NWSL match hits North Carolina, those whose livelihoods in Western New York are being altered should not be forgotten.” Pray tell, how are they to be remembered?

    “The fans will also be at a loss, and the fact the Flash were never able to attract enough of them should not take away the loss that will be felt by those who invested their time, money and emotions in the team.” WNY increased their average home attendance by 35% last year and half the league teams had a worse average attendance.

    • mockmook

      Right, but their attendance still may not have been enough to make a profit.

      Regardless, let’s hope for better in NC — only franchises making mo’ money is going to eventually get the NWSL players better paydays.

      • Gary Diver

        Your last point is important. It will be interesting how many fans will go to NC and Orlando games. We will all be watching Orlando’s attendance without Morgan.

        Attendance & Pay: It is interesting how many people on this site get excited about Division 1 Féminine. Other than Lyon and PSG, I wonder what the team attendances are and how many of the teams break even. I know some of the matches not involving either Lyon and/or PSG have had less than 1,000 fans.

        • Som Termanni

          More than half of D1F matches so far this season have drawn fewer than 500, and several draw fewer than 200. Stats per footofeminin: http://www.statsfootofeminin.fr/accueil.php?id=429

          Through the first 11 rounds of the 16-17 D1F season:

          Max: 7,945 (Guingamp-Marseille)
          Min: 100 (St. Etienne-Rodez)
          Median: 447
          Mean: 731
          Total: 43,875 in 60 matches

          59 of 60 matches drew less than the NWSL ’16 average.
          37 matches (62%) drew fewer than 582, the NWSL all-time minimum.
          8 matches (13%) drew fewer than 200 spectators.

          Lyon, in 5 home matches, averages 1,037.
          PSG, in 6 home matches, averages 844.

          • Peter

            average attendance in the German Bundesliga:
            968 in the first part of the current season (2016/2017)
            1078 last season
            highest average attendance was in season 2013/2014: 1185

          • Steglitz49

            Again, I don’t see how it helps WoSo in the US. Also, the highest of those averages is still less than Sweden’s 2002-2004 as well as the odd later year.

            Germany has 2 women-alone clubs with reasonable finances in Frankfurt and Potsdam but most of the clubs are well kept as Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen, for example.

          • Helmut Rahn

            Don’t forget SGS Essen. They improving every year and the attendance numbers are also increasing

          • Steglitz49

            Essen, fressen. Who plays for them apart from the Japanese striker Ando?

          • Steglitz49

            How does that help WoSo in the US?

            We know that Lyon and PSG have support from their motherships. I don’t know what the situation is for Montpellier, Juvisy and St-Etienne but Montpellier has a long tradition of recruiting Swedes, as witness Öqvist, Jakobsson, Sembrant and now Blackstenius.

          • Som Termanni

            As with every single comment on this godforsaken hellhole, it does nothing to help anyone, anywhere, with anything.

            There’s no argument, despite your inane attempts to wring one out of every word anyone writes here. Gary asked what D1F attendance is. I researched it and provided it from an independently verified source.

            The NWSL comparisons are to provide context that’s familiar to everyone writhing in this pit of despair who isn’t you.

          • Steglitz49

            The harsh reality as you and I have noted, 3,000 in the stands won’t cut the mustards and 5,000 not likely either.

            However those pesky Europeans — a whole slew of countries btw — run their WoSo the harsh reality is for the US to make WoSo work. The Sahlens just sold their team. The price was right for them. KC looks like being next on the block.

            Yes. Of course it is unfair that hte WoSo side-kicks of the rich men’s clubs are on easy street but 7-10 years ago it was not like that. Man Utd closed down their women and Chelsea almost did. Meanwhile, the money was flowing like milk and honey in the US. Remember LASol?

            If each fan of WoSo brought a friend to each WoSo match, attendance would double. All NWSL teams are in big conurbations, not just Chicago, Houston and DC. Why are there not 25,000 in the stands regularly?

          • Steglitz49

            At today’s French cup match between Marseille and Montpellier, Janice Cayman (ex-WNY; BelgiumWNT) did the needful and delivers the goods. Attendance at the game was 213 people.

            Stina Blackstenius made her debut for Montpellier in this French Cup match. She came on at half-time, when Montpellier were losing 1-0 away to Marseille. After the break Sofia Jakobsson equalized and in the 96th minute Janice Cayman (ex-WNY and Belgium) scored for Montpellier who won 2-1.

            213.

    • Som Termanni

      > half the league teams had a worse average attendance

      Four out of 10 aren’t half, and Sky Blue’s average was down by a whole 27 (though for them, that’s still more than a rounding error). Chicago’s attendance figures in ’14 and ’15 never should have been high enough to go down this season because of those Fire doubleheaders that inflated their take–and even so, 2016 was still CRS’s second-best season in attendance.

      Both Chicago’s and SBFC’s median attendances were up.

      The only teams that dropped median attendance were Washington and Houston. Washington still went into the black on their home playoff game per ownership, and the Dash/Dynamo org got a cut of the finals for hosting them.

      WNY’s attendance was up, but still more than 600/game off their inaugural NWSL season, 1,000 less than WNY’s WPS season, and 1,400/game less than the Courage’s final season. One of only two teams in the league now to not have a better average attendance than its first NWSL season (also KC).

      • Bruce

        The stagnation of Chicago attendance figures is troubling. At this stage of development their brand recognition should be on the rise and they should be growing attendance by double-digits.

        They’ve done nothing to help themselves and it doesn’t seem like they any have any plans to jump start marketing.

        • Steglitz49

          You need money to market yourself. Money is a rare commodity in WoSo.

        • Som Termanni

          If they’d squeezed in even one Fire doubleheader in 2016, their season numbers would’ve been “up” even if the same number of people attended every match, because they counted all tickets sold for the Fire as CRS tickets in those past doubleheaders, inflating their “attendance” numbers by 5-10,000 per doubleheader.

  • Paul Klee

    Unsurprisingly, Lauletta mentions the bathroom bill as a potential obstacle but fails to note that the NWSL likely bans all transgendered persons from playing in the league regardless of what it says on their birth certificate. And they certainly will never let a person born male who self-identifies as female play in the league.

    • Arcie Tillydee

      Nor should they, with the possible exception of pre-op trans women who have been on hormone therapy long enough to have eliminated the enormous competitive advantage male biology affords an athlete. I’m a trans rights advocate (“some of my best friends..” is literally true for me), but athletics legitimately calls for special considerations.

      • Paul Klee

        So to boil it down though you may be a trans rights advocate you are also an advocate for gender discrimination. That’s not a question it’s a statement of fact.

        • Guest

          There should be exceptions when it feels appropriate. For the vast majority of instances and situations I support trans rights. Separating men’s and women’s sports may also be discriminatory but I don’t have any moral issues with it. I do with the HB2 which is likely to cause everyday problems for trans people and that’s an important difference. Preventing self identified women that were born male from playing women’s soccer is not likely to significantly impact their everyday lives. I don’t think you should be lumping these two very different situations together. It doesn’t strengthen your argument.

          • Paul Klee

            Everyday problems for trans people. Really? problems will be rare to the extreme, Nobody really gives a crap (pun intended) about who is using the stall next to them. There is not going to be bathroom police. But that is not what the law is really intended for, the law is to make it more difficult for heterosexual male pedophiles to creep around changing and shower facilities where young girls are present. So yeah there will be some awkwardness on rare occasion for trans people, but to protect young girls it seems a reasonable exception.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Lemme get this straight: the problems for trans people such laws cause will be “rare in the extreme,” but cross-dressing pedos molesting little girls in women’s bathrooms is common enough to justify such laws? Odd that I’ve never seen a single such incident reported in the press…

          • Paul Klee

            What problems for trans people? Where are all the news articles on trans people being harassed for violating HB2 in North Carolina. You want me to produce North Carolina news articles about heterosexual men entering changing rooms and showers were young females are present, when the current law, HB two, prevent that? Huh?

          • Guest

            Forget NC, find me an example of a pedophile in the United States that has committed an act of sexual assault in a bathroom with trans gender friendly rules(rules that allow transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they self-identify). As far as I’m concerned the law is aiming to “fix” a problem that does not exist and only ends up forcing transgender people to identify themselves as such whenever they use a public bathroom. I don’t think transgender people should be forced to do that and I don’t think it’s a reasonable exception to protect little girls. Unless you are a transgender person yourself or have first hand knowledge of a transgender person who has experienced the effects of this bill in NC I think it’s ignorant of you to dismiss their hardship and claim “Well I haven’t seen any articles or news on TV so it must not be an issue”.

            I agree with Arcie on the parallels you are attempting to draw in relation to WoSo. They aren’t really comparable at all in my opinion. Som Termanni also posted the NWHL’s solution which I think is a great model to be inclusive torwards transgender people. If there happens to be any issues with their policy in the future perhaps I’ll reassess my position.

          • Paul Klee

            Glad you agree, that the Original question posed by Arcie was ridiculous. As to Sexual assaults happening in other locations that was never my claim all I said is that the law that HB2 addresses make it easier and more likely. That said there have been cases of men creeping in Women’s locker rooms in Washington State that were not addressed in a responsible way.
            You know that if there was a single documented case of the authorities acting inappropriately toward a trans person under the auspices of HB2 in North Carolina that would have been a huge national story. That it did not happen indicates that HB2 is not causing any problems for trans people. I’m sure in the future there will be a case of some idiot cop harassing a transgender person but it will be an extremely rare occurrence. And even though a sexual assault against a minor girl might without a law like HB2 might be an equally rare occurrence it is my belief that the law is still a reasonable accommodation.
            Was just pointing out that a group that engages in gender discrimination, the NWSL, perhaps does not have the highest moral authority to criticize others. But when you cannot even admit that Gender discrimination is gender discrimination I don’t put much value in your opinion especially if your reply is full of bullying and invective. I personally can not stand snowflake crybullies.

          • Guest

            I don’t agree with you and documented cases of men creeping in Women’s locker rooms is not what we are discussing. That is going to be a problem with sexual predators regardless of the bill.

            There not being any huge news stories of trans people harassed does not mean it isn’t happening and that wasn’t what I said I had a moral issue with anyway. I said I don’t think the innocent transgender people should have to be made to reveal themselves whenever they use the bathroom. The trans people I have spoken to have said that would make them very uncomfortable. I don’t think that is H2B is an acceptable solution.

            Claiming that the NWSL is engaging in gender discrimination is a red herring that you continue to champion as justification. Simply calling both gender discrimination without acknowledging important differences with both situation that would cause moral issues with one but not the other is deliberately misleading. If you take offense to my questioning of whether or not your view has had any input from personal experience with transgender people. Perhaps my assumption was wrong that you had not and simply don’t care.

          • mockmook

            You can’t do anything about the creep coming into the women’s shower room if they claim they are trans without HB2.

          • Yes you can.
            Because the action making them a “creep” is the action that would be unacceptable in that situation.

            If someone was in a locker room/restroom/dressing room with me and was acting inappropriately – looking under the stall door, opening the shower curtain, staring at people while they change clothes – it wouldn’t matter if they were a cis-gendered woman or not. Inappropriate behavior is inappropriate behavior. Even if it was a cis-woman in a woman’s bathroom/locker room that would be inappropriate behavior and you could complain to management or call the authorities and have them thrown out or arrested if the behavior is egregious enough.

            For instance, the woman who took a photo of another woman in the locker room and posted it to snapchat is now involved in a court case. That’s inappropriate. Doesn’t have to be “a man in a woman’s restroom” to be inappropriate or illegal or to do something about it.

          • Paul Klee

            I have covered most of your points in other replies forgive me if I don’t reply here.

          • Guest

            Here are some other rights the bill took away.

            “It took away the right of people who are fired for discriminatory reasons to sue in state court. It took away the right of people who are treated or refused service in a discriminatory way to sue in state court. It took away the right of cities to require subcontractors to follow rules about discrimination and wages, and it nullified some existing city policies.”

            http://www.politifact.com/north-carolina/article/2016/apr/22/roundup-hb2-fact-checks-north-carolinas-controvers/

          • Paul Klee

            Didn’t say it was a great bill in all regards but you will find many laws throughout history that have good parts and awful parts.

          • DNG

            I know I am probably asking for it weighing in on this but I don’t agree with the lack of distinction when you call both HB2 and the NWSL discriminatory. The word Discrimination has a couple of different connotations. I don’t think the NWSL preventing transgenders and males from competing is unjust or prejudical. It just happens to be a league for women soccer players.

            The people who argue against House Bill 2 are claiming it is both of those things. So while you may be right that the word discrimination applies to both I don’t think the word holds the same context for each.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Of course it doesn’t. The term ‘discrimination’ has a fairly wide range of application and nuance. It can be used to indicate most forms of differentiation…or it can be used to describe negative, prejudiced, and harmful forms of differentiation. The NWSL, as an entity promoting women’s sports, can in the strictest sense of the word, be considered to be “discriminating.” Clearly this is the former sense, above. HB2, on the other hand, is considered by a great many people to fall under the latter definition of this term, essentially a form of bigotry. Equating the two is a silly (and transparent) semantic game. He hasn’t a linguistic leg to stand on, making an assertion that would essentially define the entire concept of women’s sports as “discrimination.” It’s inane.

          • mockmook

            When you are talking about the law and about clarity, you need to use strict denotation of words.

            In that sense, PK is right:

            Discrimination == Discriminaton (no matter how benign)

          • Steglitz49

            I have lost track on what this addresses but now it gives the impression of semantics and even a storm in a teacup.

            The tradition of keeping men’s and women’s sports separate is old and well established. There are a few sports, showjumping and dressage being one, where women and men compete against each other on the back of a horse, but generally the sexes are separated in sport.

          • Paul Klee

            I think I covered this in replies to others forgive me if I don’t repeat my self here.

          • DNG

            I don’t need a further explanation. I understand that you covered it in previous comments and subsequent ones. The point of my comment to you was to say that I don’t agree with your logic and why I don’t agree with it.

          • Paul Klee

            Just posted that to inform that I addressed some of your points in subsequent posts to others. Just didn’t want to repeat as, for me, it is hard to do on an iPhone.

          • Arcie Tillydie

            You (incorrectly) described what the NWSL does as “gender discrimination.” Try not to act like that’s a generally-accepted assertion. Your phrasing (“…cannot even admit that Gender discrimination is gender discrimination…”) is a classic planted axiom…and I rather doubt many here are dim enough to accept it as valid.

            Nobody’s “bullying” anyone, and if that term _were_ to be used, it would be more accurately applied to your behavior in this thread. You blunder in slinging insults, making false accusations, didactically defining actions in an inaccurate and self-serving manner, etc. Now you’re whingeing about bullying? Grow a spine, gasbag.

          • Paul Klee

            You were the first to start slinging insults. And now your whining about about me. You are the typical snowflake crybully. The point was, is that there are reasonable forms of gender discrimination, and even though it might be reasonable it is still gender discrimination. So the discussion was to be what is reasonable? I would think that that would be a generally accepted assertion. But you responded with immediately responded with insults and a straw man (yes you posited a conclusion that if you followed the logic of my assertion [the straw man] you might conclude (that I hated women’s sports), and then you knocked down that straw man with an attempted logical conclusion you do not use that kind of logic because it is only for the reactionary….) Yes, you used a Straw Man. So what does being a crybully reveal: it reveals your closed mind (the inability to see subtlety and nuance instead viewing the world in black and white not shades of grey).

          • Lorehead

            That’s a myth, and an extremely insulting stereotype. And attacking someone else in a bathroom was already illegal. If we need laws like this to stop straight cis male predators from entering women’s bathrooms in the first place, where are the police standing guard in front of bathrooms, asking to see birth certificates? No police department does that, because it would be insane. The law hasn’t really been enforced, and even its supporters seem to be saying that they don’t really want it to be enforced on trans people just doing their best to blend in, which is more evidence that it serves no useful purpose.

            The real problem is the threat of harassment or even attacks on trans people who use the bathroom they are now legally required to. Here’s one of the news stories you asked for.

          • Paul Klee

            WTF are you talking about? No one is asking to see anybody’s birth certificates, not even in the article you linked. No one is being hassled because of HB2. The point of the law is not to hassle people about going to the bathroom, it is simply to clarify for the purpose of gender specific public facilities what are the gender conditions for using that public facility. The reason that HB2 is necessary is because the ordinances that it supersedes effectively let anyone of any gender use either facility at any time. While it is great that these ordinances made trans people more comfortable in their public facilities choice it is clear that using the “self-identifying” language would likely have opened the door for troubling consequences. For example, conditions before these ordinances were in place and after HB2 a male trying to enter a woman’s locker facility would be immediately asked to leave and if they refused the police would be called and the man would likely be ticketed for Disorderly Conduct or something similar, but under the “self-identifying” ordinances there likely would be hesitation in even asking the man to leave and if he refused nothing would be done (see the Washington State Case) and the cops would be less likely to ticket the man as all he would have to say is he is self identifying as a woman. So the effect of HB2 is that it would make it far less likely that a man would even try to enter a facility designated for Women.

          • Lorehead

            You’re badly misinformed.

          • Paul Klee

            Pray tell, how? Or not? Whatever.

          • Lorehead

            After the way you behaved in our last conversation, I have no interest in discussing politics with you ever again.

          • Paul Klee

            Relentlessly challenging your assertions, über-libs and snowflakes hate that.

          • Lorehead

            That’s actually a relatively tame example of your insane hyperaggression toward anyone who disagrees with you. I don’t know whether you believe all the extreme things you say a day after you say them, or you just really enjoy picking fights, but either way we have no common ground.

          • Paul Klee

            I am blunt to be sure, but the thing is the the mean spiritedness is almost always started by the überlibs. They have had their safe space invaded and their ideas challenged, and unlike conservatives, whom are always challenged; libs don’t respond well to logically constructed argument. Most of their beliefs are emotionally based and they don’t see much beyond that, so when their ideas are challenged they respond emotionally usually with personal attacks against the one challenging them. See Arcie above. I have to admit though that I love throwing liberal tactics back at them. They can’t handle it. As you and now Arcie are proving. Or is the term “insane hyper aggression” meant to be nice.

          • Lorehead

            I think I was pretty rude to you this time, too, and it was me who escalated. I backslide on my resolution to argue less about politics on the Internet when I’m in a bad mood, and it shows.

            Here’s my reaction to what you just wrote. You think you’re arguing about a group, which you call “überlibs” but some other people call “fascists” or “SJWs” or “statists” or “randroids” or whatever. Since some people on the Internet are trolls, there’s always an example of someone on the other side who did something bad. That lets you give yourself permission to be just as bad as the worst “überlibs.” But then you’re no better than the worst people you hate, and behaving worse than the individual you’re yelling at. So the people you hate have to be even worse than you thought. But then you sink to that level too, until you spiral down into Hell to fight the very demons.

            At the same time, you want others to recognize you as an individual who doesn’t always agree with the party line, not as part of some hive mind responsible for all the worst things anyone who agrees with you about something does.

          • Paul Klee

            Like I said I enjoy Tweaking the progressive minded by giving them a taste of their own medicine, so to speak. I am blunt as is my nature, but also the a necessity for me as 90% of my posts are from an iPhone. That said I was ignoring Arcie’s personal attacks and responding to the assertions mixed in those invective filled replies. At least for three or four of them. Then I got snarky.
            Though I would take you more seriously if you would be as critical in condemning the original personal attacks on me as you are with my replies to those who attacked me. (not that I need your defense) But instead of being critical and condemning, you join in with additional personal attacks on me. Well I understand its easier because you agree with their view.
            Though I am far from perfect, there is a person on this thread who is much closer to my political viewpoint, whom I used to slam all the time for obnoxiousness. Now blocked by me for the most part because I can not stand his limited ( think Sean Hannity) level of Black and White Conservative thought, lashing out when in my opinion a point is beyond him.
            That said I will not back down on my view that there are all sorts of levels of gender discrimination, from accepting “Women’s only” Sports Leagues and, in my opinion, tolerating laws which define, for the purpose of single sex public facilities, gender and not tolerating Presidential candidates whom speak about women in a crude manner or Presidential Candidates who were involved with defaming women whose husband sexually assaulted, and completely condemning Muslims who use Sharia law to kill their daughters for the crime of being raped.
            That combined with the idea of self-identification of one’s own gender being troublesome as a legal standard.

          • Lorehead

            Immediately after your chest-pounding about how progressives are such snowflakes that they can’t take their own tactics turned against them, you start whining that disagreeing with you, pretty mildly by the standards of Internet comment sections, is a personal attack and why won’t I take your side and it’s so unfair? That’s special.

            You just admitted yourself: you enjoy doing all the things you accuse your enemies of doing. You justify it as turning the tables, but because you think of yourself as fighting progressives as a group and not individuals, you end up doing it to people who haven’t done any of those things themselves. Your conduct deserves to be attacked, and you should feel ashamed of how you’ve acted in the past. I’m thinking mainly of your trolling the last time we argued.

          • Paul Klee

            Stop it with your lying crap, where was I whining? How is it pointing out that Liberals almost always are the first to use personal attacks, whining. You therefore acknowledge that Arcie began with the personal attacks (although mild because of to whom they directed). This is one of few ways that Libs argue, using personal attacks. Their other tactic is to keep changing the subject so as not having to address the points put forth by the non-überlib. This sums up your posts almost to perfection. After a couple of your arguments are rejected you resort to the personal attacks and attempting to change the subject. As again you have attempted to do on this topic and then you get bent out of shape when you are challenged to stay on topic

            Which are:

            1. There are shades of gray in examples of Gender Discrimination.

            2. Self-identification of gender can be problematic under the law.

            3. Inability of the Lib to consider things critically; instead preferring shallow emotional “reasoning ” as evidenced by your lack of your ability to criticize analytically the the personal attacks of another überlib.

          • Lorehead

            That’s really nuts. And, yes, you are whining.

          • Paul Klee

            Again proving my point just the attacks in the name-calling. I’m sure that as a Lib you can come up with some ridiculous definition for the term whining that restricts it to your non-favorite groups of people like non liberal white men while for your favored groups of people you would call it something like heroic speaking truth to power emotional cartharsis.

            But again you were nonresponsive to the question asked or subject at hand. Why, because as a liberal you are bereft of any argument that is not emotionally based and therefore not able to stand up to critical scrutiny.

            So again I will pose the assertions in question:

            1. There are degrees of gender discrimination ( or any form of discrimination ) ranging from reasonable to contemptable.

            2. Self identification of gender is flawed as a legal standard.

          • Lorehead

            Look, the way you approach these conversations guarantees that you will always add something to your list of grievances against The Other Side (as a monolithic hive-mind with collective responsibility for its sins), while always being convinced that you’re justified in doing all the same things. That’s where you went wrong. Remember, “libs” is not an individual. “Libs” has done nothing. Arcee isn’t “libs” and neither am I. Neither of us is responsible for the actions of “libs.”

            Anyway, as for the underlying dispute, you’re ranting over a strawman. If you had listened to either Arcee or me, we both said we thought that it would be better to have single-occupancy, gender-neutral bathrooms, but that when we needed to make a binary distinction, it should be based on hormones.

          • Paul Klee

            Just pointing out where you are living up to my liberal sterotype.

            I don’t believe that you or Arcee said “it would be better to have single-occupancy, gender-neutral bathrooms, but that when we needed to make a binary distinction, it should be based on hormones.” at least on this thread, and since you are apparently so ashamed of your posts that you keep your registration private and Arcee doesn’t register at all I cannot search your posts.

            That said single-occupancy gender neutral bathrooms as the norm would be impractical in the real world rather than in liberal utopia. First the expense of building all these separate bathrooms in any establishment that requires more than two stalls would be prohibitive. Can you imagine the extra expense of a 100,000 person capacity sports stadium have to put in 1700 separate bathrooms rather than build say 80 bathrooms for Women with 12 stalls each and 80 Mens rooms with 2 stalls and 8 urinals each. Even you libs must realize that men and women have different bathroom needs. therefore your single occupancy bathroom proposal is not practical in the real world.
            That said my objection to gender self-identification to as you should well know is not about bathrooms. It is about other communal gender specific areas — locker rooms, shower facilities etc…. Surely you can not be calling for single occupancy changing rooms. This is why HB2 was passed, not to hassle Trans people using bathrooms, as evidenced by the apparent lack of trans people be hassled under the auspices of HB2 since passage.
            That said HB2 does differentiate on the basis of Hormones as is your desire, because if you get hormone therapy you can change your gender on your birth certificate, and thus be in compliance. Your only point of contention with the law is that it should be easier to change the gender on your birth certificate. So it would seem you agree with me that self-identification of gender would be problematic as a legal standard.

          • Lorehead

            You’re throwing a temper tantrum over something neither Arcee nor I even said, and this isn’t the first time you’ve acted this way. I hope you gain some perspective on your own behavior.

          • Paul Klee

            Well, I am shocked another non-responsive and delusional post from an Über-Lib.

            1. I’m not angry of course at this point I’m just bemused.

            2. Pray tell, what is it this time where you claim I am putting words in your mouth? Are you referring to your last post? Some other post? Has someone hacked your account and is posting under your name? Please!

          • Lorehead

            If you think your behavior is normal, you spend too much time watching people yell at each other on the Internet.

          • Paul Klee

            Did I say I think my behavior is normal? Most normal people will not challenge your ridiculous assertions relentlessly as I do. And in that regard I’m glad I’m not normal.

            But unfortunately your behavior here, and that once again you’re being completely non-responsive to questions posed to you, is the normal for the Überlib when they are challenged and have no ability to coherently respond to questions posed to them.

          • Lorehead

            It’s true I’m not bothering to address your positions on HB2 in any detail, because I don’t think it would be worthwhile. The fact is that you’re not even able to accurately state what the people you’re yelling at believe.

          • Paul Klee

            Pray tell where did I inaccurately state what you wrote, remember it’s not my responsibility to state what you believe if it differs from what you wrote.

            You wrote “If you had listened to either Arcee or me, we both said we thought that it would be better to have single-occupancy, gender-neutral bathrooms, but that when we needed to make a binary distinction, it should be based on hormones.”

            I responded to that statement, but perhaps you believe something different than what you said.

          • Paul Klee

            Never said anything about cross-dressing men that is in your own imagination.

        • Som Termanni

          For reference, the recently announced NWHL policy:

          > Considering the most up-to-date medical and expert information available at the time of the implementation of this policy, participation is open to:

          > 1. People designated female at birth, regardless of their gender identity.

          > 1.1 The athlete may not take testosterone hormone therapy. Athletes transitioning to male who undergo hormone therapy will be ineligible to compete.

          > 2. Those who transition from male to female are eligible to compete under the following conditions:

          > 2.1. The athlete has declared that her gender identity is female. The declaration cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.

          > 2.2. The athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum is within typical limits of women athletes.

          > 2.3. The athlete’s total testosterone level in serum must remain in the typical range of women athletes throughout the period of desired eligibility to compete in the female category.

          > 2.4. Compliance with these conditions may be monitored by testing. In the event of non-compliance, the athlete’s eligibility in the league will be suspended for 12 months.

          http://www.nwhl.zone/news_article/show/737895

          The policy was lauded by Chris Mosier (You Can Play) and Harrison Browne (NWHL’s first transgender athlete). http://www.excellesports.com/news/nwhl-transgender-policy-groundbreaking-chris-mosier/

          • Paul Klee

            So just to be clear, just because one self-identifies as female does not make that person eligible?

          • Som Termanni

            No, for competitive purposes they are not automatically eligible unless their self-identified gender correlates in some way biologically to a typical birth-assigned woman’s (specifically, via testosterone levels). Eligibility isn’t strictly tied to birth-assigned gender, but if birth-assigned gender conflicts with self-assigned gender, the player must confirm it through regular testing. And if a player previously transitioned to female, they’re not allowed to change that identification for competitive purposes for four years after declaring the transition.

            In other words, the “man comes into the women’s league and dominates” scenario would require a person to undergo extensive and successful transformative hormone therapy until they are within the same range as a typical birth-assigned woman, then maintain it for at least four years or lose eligibility.

            Conversely, if the player was assigned a female gender at birth and transitions to male, for competitive purposes they are allowed to play as long as they don’t begin hormone therapy.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you for finding out for us.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Great info…thank you.

        • Arcie Tillydee

          I’ll try and keep this at least vaguely polite (and that’ll be hard, when faced with an utterly baseless, moronic insult). If my pointing out that a non-hormone-treated, biologically male physique is a potentially massive advantage when playing against biological females is “gender discrimination,” then the entire notion of women’s sports AT ALL is “gender discrimination.” Were I employing your level of reasoning and logic, I’d ask “why do you hate women’s sports?”

          Fortunately, I’m not a shallow-thinking reactionary…

          • Paul Klee

            Didn’t say all that I just said you are a advocate for gender discrimination. That is a fact. Throw out as many straw men as you want you advocate for gender discrimination.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            You can claim it’s a fact, but that doesn’t make it so (and it’s not). As for anything I’ve written being a “straw man,” consider actually learning the definition of philosophical terms before using them. You’ll make slightly less of a fool of yourself.

          • Paul Klee

            Saying that I “hate women’s sports” borders on a straw man statement. Because there is no connection between the logic in stating that the NWSL discriminates on the basis of gender and a logical construct claiming that kind of thinking would also lead one to conclude that one hates women’s sports. Also you implied that I was a shallow thinking reactionary based on what I said, again that would be most difficult to demonstrate logically.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Except I didn’t say that, as an even _adequate_ reading of my statement would show. I’d say “nice try,” except it wasn’t. Consider re-reading it…with greater care this time.

            Your assertion that women’s sports are, by their very definition, “gender discrimination” is an absurd semantic game which ignores the overwhelming contextual meaning of the term. You’re playing games, and it’s childish and insulting. You chose to insult me with infantile semantic nitpicking (which you’re not good at), and I don’t like or respect that sort of foolishness.

            Oh, and I wasn’t attempting a logical substantiation of my characterization of you as a shallow-thinking reactionary. It was an observation.

            “Block user” time…bye, Felicia.

          • Steglitz49

            Don’t block! Cope instead.

          • Paul Klee

            Bye Little lying bully snowflake. Go back to your safe space where the real world doesn’t encroach on your delusional anti-intellectualism.

          • rcie Tillydee

            “Snowflake”

            Ah, a cretinous right-wing catch-phrase and you accuse _me_ of anti-intellectualism? You misuse a philosophical term in cringeworthy manner and accuse _me_ of anti-intellectualism? Priceless.

            And that bullying accusation is particularly inane and hypocritical, given that your’re the one who waddled into the conversation slinging insults ambitious gender discrimination.

            Or, to put this in terms more appropriate to the intended recipient, piss off, dolt.

          • mockmook

            “a cretinous right-wing catch-phrase”

            Regardless if that is true, “snowflake” is accurate.

          • Paul Klee

            My reply to this is covered elsewhere.

          • Lorehead

            Eh, let’s just bite the bullet. Sure, it meets his absurd personal definition of gender discrimination. So what? That’s just an example of how discrimination can technically refer to any kind of different treatment whatsoever, But nobody thinks different treatment is always and everywhere a bad thing. He’s just using loaded words tendentiously.

          • Steglitz49

            There is no point arguing with the Painter. If you do not agree to the correctness of his views and stand your ground, he simply blocks you.

          • Paul Klee

            All women’s sports are by definition organizations involved with “gender discrimination”. What don’t you get about that? I’m just pointing out that fact. How is that moronic? How it even an insult? It is only an insult if you don’t understand the definition of discrimination. There is all sorts of discrimination in your life, much of it is reasonable.
            Like HB2 which actually doesn’t discriminate (de jure) against anyone, though it might, on rare occasion, cause a Transgender person some awkwardness (which I realize would be {de facto} discrimination), but what the law does do is makes it harder for heterosexual male pedophiles to creep around changing room and shower facilities where preteen and young teen girls are present thus making it less likely that one of those girls will be sexually abused. Thus my claim of reasonable discrimination, just as I believe that gender discrimination in women’s sports is reasonable.

          • Lorehead

            I’m not sure why he thinks that’s such a gotcha. No, we aren’t against separate accommodations for men and women in all circumstances whatsoever. Otherwise, we’d be demanding that all women play in the lower divisions of unisex sports, or in practice that girls would all get cut from their youth teams in their early teens and stop playing. I’ve heard some trolls take that line and act aggrieved that Title IX exists at all, but what we want is for women who work equally hard to get an equal chance to play and equal respect.

            If you’re following women’s sports, your position is more complex than the one he’s attacking. That doesn’t make the people he’s yelling at hypocrites. It just means he doesn’t understand what other people really believe.

          • Steglitz49

            The Painter is frequently argumentative and does not always take consistent position and, therefore, comes across a bit like an agent provocateur.

            The bigger issue in sports is the lack of women in leadership positions. Hardly any in positions of power let alone administrators or trainers. This is in spite of WoSo having held World Championships for 25 years now and been in the OG for 20.

            Where women’s sports in the US would be without Title IX is indeed a good question.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            He’s just clueless on this matter, to be blunt. Playing infantile semantic games and throwing insults. I threw some back…and he flipped his sh*t. Blocking…as soon as the lulz abate.

          • Lorehead

            Wish I could say he’s done better in his conversations with me, but he hasn’t.

        • Bruce

          uncalled for.

          • Paul Klee

            But true, people need to be called out on their views and prejudices.

    • Andy

      As makes sense…. I’m not interested in a league dominated by a bunch of guys that say that they’re women. Look, these women are fantastic players, but the truth of the matter is that an average (professional) guy can demolish them. We don’t need MLS dropouts saying that they are now female and go play NWSL to boost their ego.

      • JL

        Typical clueless response. I suggest you go find a piece written by an average guy who was invited to train with the Wanderers women, and couldn’t even get through the warmup.

        • Arcie Tillydee

          An MLS dropout isn’t remotely an “average guy.” Andy said the average _professional_ guy. Hell, the USMNT U-16 side regularly beats the senior USWNT in scrimmages…arguably the most physically-capable women’s team in the world.

          The fact is that evolution has provided an essentially insurmountable physical advantage to males in most athletic competitions at remotely equivalent levels.

          • Lorehead

            Which disappears when they go on hormone replacement therapy. If they transitioned after puberty, they might have some advantage from height.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Yep. That’s why I’ve been saying “non-hormone-treated” trans women elsewhere in the thread.

          • Lorehead

            Although it’s worth noting that’s because we have more athletic events that emphasize men’s advantages than ones that emphasize women’s, such as gymnastics or horseback riding, or ones where both can compete on equal terms, such as rifle shooting.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            Many motorsports, too. Women are fully competitive in, for example, drag racing, where there have been multiple elite-tier champions. Some people even say women are at an advantage because they often have faster reflexes.

          • Lorehead

            The Air Force did a study that found women tend to be better fighter pilots.

          • guest

            Which skills or aptitudes make a better fighter pilot?

      • frosty

        The NWHL has a trans player

        • Timber Dave

          * the first pro PUBLICLY transgender athlete in any sport in all of North America

          There were almost certainly always some in the closet.

          • frosty

            Alright.

  • Arcie Tillydee

    The HB2 issue is potentially a huge problem. I can easily see players and possibly even teams refusing to travel there to play. Here in Portland in particular, there will probably be enormous objection to this among the Riveters and the rest of the fan base.

    • deedoo

      Portland fans live in Oregon. Who cares if they support team there?

    • guest

      And if Texas had a similar bill, would you boycott Houston as well? I guess Texas will have to think twice now that Portland is upset.

      • Arcie Tillydee

        I’m not boycotting anything…not my brand of activism. Just pointing out that there will be a LOT of controversy over this move in a league in which I suspect the large majority of the fan base are supporters of LBGTQ rights.

        Besides, a WoSo fan boycott of NC would hardly be noticed in comparison the the economic damage that law has already done to NC. We’re little more than a blip, economically.

        • GT

          I question your “large majority” claim. Maybe in Portland but I doubt it elsewhere. And I wonder if these same fans would support an accomplished male player who self-identifies as a women into the NWSL? A player who perhaps had a great college career but is not good enough to be a mens professional soccer player.

          • Gary Diver

            I don’t want to get into a food fight over LBGTQ rights, but what is acceptable changes over time. It is hard to believe but transsexual “Renée Richards was denied entry into the 1976 US Open by the United States Tennis Association, which began that year requiring genetic screening for female players. She disputed this policy, and the New York Supreme Court ruled in her favor in 1977 in a decision in favor of transsexual rights.” That was 40 years ago and I am old enough to remember some people claiming how unfair it would be for “made-over men” to compete against real women. If a new Renée Richards showed up next year, nobody would bat an eye over letting her compete in major tournaments.

          • GT

            I think plenty of people would “bat an eye”. I also can’t remember any other Renee Richards’ in the past 40 years in this “enlightened age”. In tennis or any other sport. Can you?

          • Steglitz49

            Do bats bat eyes or do they rely on their sonar?

          • Lorehead

            That’s a good example of how hard it is to define male and female in the first place. Many women have either XY chromosomes or XXY, so genetic screening often diagnosed women with intersex conditions such as androgen insensitivity syndrome, and telling them that, even though they had no athletic advantage over other women, they could no longer compete. And by the way, that their condition also made them infertile. That was cruel, and has been abandoned. Some men have XX chromosomes. There are even recorded cases of true hermaphrodites, with XX chromosomes in one ovary, XY in the other, who have successfully gotten pregnant.

            Only once did a government stoop so low as to enter a man into a women’s event at the Olympics, although even that turns out to be more complicated. In 1936, the world’s best female high jumper was Gretel Bergmann. But she was a Jew in Germany, so the Nazi government banned her from its team and sent a man to compete in her place under the name of Dora Ratjen.

            On further investigation, though, the story reported in the American press and that Bergmann herself (who had fled to the US) believed turned out to be incomplete. It seems that Dora Ratjen was born with ambiguous genitalia and tragically misidentified as a girl at birth. Dora had always been aware that he was a boy, but his conservative parents insisted he was really a girl because he could not urinate while standing, even after he went through puberty, and forced him to dress and live as a girl for his entire childhood. He was relieved when the publicity over his gold medal exposed him, and got the government to correct his birth certificate and let him live as a man. Time Magazine published an erroneous story in 1966, which misidentified his new name as Hermann rather than Heinrich, said he was working as a waiter, and misquoted him as saying he had only lived as a woman for three years. Unfortunately, that version of events has been widely spread and even got turned into a movie.

            The bathroom bills in other states that define biological sex as the one on the original, unaltered birth certificate would have misidentified Dora Ratjen as a woman and forced him to compete as one.

          • Steglitz49

            “Many” in your phrase of — “Many women have either XY chromosomes or XXY” — is a gross misrepresentation of reality and there by the meaning of “many”.

            A better choice of words might have been — “More women than you might think have …”.

          • Lorehead

            Steglitz, English is not your native language and you shouldn’t attempt to tell me how to use it. In any case, at a very rough estimate, there are at least 8,000 women with AIS in the U.S. and Canada, and that’s a relatively rare intersex condition. Roughly one in a thousand people are born with Klinefelter Syndrome (that is, women with a XXY karyotype).

            More importantly, these people still deserve our respect and our support no matter how many or how few of them there are.

          • Steglitz49

            Definition of “many” = a large number of persons or things. One in a thousand is not many in everyday speech.

          • Eh, semantics. It’s not “most,” but 1:1,000 persons born intersex is still more than people are generally aware of. The public thinks that sex is either/or. Male or female. Biology is more complicated than that, and I think Lorehead’s point is that these conditions are more perhaps more common than we think.

          • Steglitz49

            Which is why I typed in my initial reply: ‘A better choice of words might have been — “More women than you might think have …”.’

            Please do me the courtesy of reading what i write before you lash out.

          • Gary Diver

            Yesterday I brought a copy of National Geographic which is dedicated to the single topic of “The Gender Revolution”. People who have a hangup with gender should buy it. Times are changing and fortunately the young people don’t have the same hangups that some of their parents seem to have.

          • guest

            What hang-ups?

          • Steglitz49

            The Berlin wall came down in 1989. I guess that young people today do not have the same concerns about the Berlin wall as their parents did.

          • guest

            If it’s in National Geographic, it must be true.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            I stand by that claim. The majority would be likely smaller than here in Portland, but I think it would still be a majority of NWSL fans who support those rights. But I don’t think a majority would support transgender women who have not undergone hormone therapy playing in a women’s league. The physical advantage would too-greatly tilt the playing field.

          • Guwinster

            In all fairness Portland Thorns fans are probably pretty close to being a majority of NWSL fans. Although, that may have changed a bit when the Pride joined the league.

          • GT

            An unpleasant truth.

      • wolf

        Texas is considering a similar bill.

    • mockmook

      If teams refuse to go, this league is done.

      • Arcie Tillydee

        I don’t really expect teams to refuse (although a few may issue statements). As you say, that’s a potential league-killer. Some players might, though…we’ll see. There would be serious repercussions for any that do, but some may decide it’s worth it.

        • guest

          if a team refuses to play then they should forfeit the game and take the loss. and any players that refuse to play should be suspended without pay including uswnt players.

          • Arcie Tillydee

            That’s what I would expect to happen.

  • Andy

    Appreciate the portion on HB2. Reporting factually on a piece that might have an impact but without bias. That’s rare.

    I presume for the news to get this far, the league office has to have already signed off on the move to NC.

    • Som Termanni

      Do the owners have to approve a change in ownership? I figured that was the case. If so, that means the entire board has met in some fashion and approved this.

  • Miami66

    Well if attendance there is larger, then i’ll be a good move. If not, it’ll be a bad sign. We’ll have to wait until the season to see.

  • Joel

    As Lauletta said, here’s to the WNY fans who are losing their team. Thanks for your support of an NWSL team and here’s hoping that you can find another.

    It’s wonderful to see NC open their hearts and minds to an NWSL franchise. This speaks well of the league and of people in NC. Another hope, that the players and team members of the Flash can open their hearts and minds too, and find happiness in NC.

    Final thought. The league has done well through 4 seasons but now seems to face many changes. Supporters and players, let’s stick together and help make the NWSL a permanent fixture.

    • Steglitz49

      If you operate a franchise system, you run the risk of losing your team. If you run by a promotion/relegation system, you run the risk of your team dropping out of the higher division.

      • frosty

        Thanks for that input. What’s the relevance?

        • Steglitz49

          They were sold by their owners as chattels. They will move from upstate NY to well south of the Mason-Dixon line. Sold south, like slaves of times yore.

          • frosty

            Maybe I should’ve clarified. I didn’t see the relevance in explaining the potential ways that a team would leave the league in regards to a farewell for that team. I see even less relevance to connecting a soccer team and the slave trade.

  • Timber Dave

    Thanks, Dan, for all your updates, and more importantly, for putting them in perspective.