The 2016 College Cup is on the move–again. The NCAA on Monday announced it was pulling seven national championships out of North Carolina in the wake of the state passing the controversial House Bill 2, or HB2. Known as the “bathroom bill” the gist of the law prevents transgender individuals from using the restroom that coincides with the gender they identify with. Among the events pulled were the Women’s College Cup from Cary and the Division III men’s and women’s championships from Greensboro. The College Cup was originally scheduled to be held in Orlando but construction delays at the new stadium that will house the Orlando Pride and Orlando City SC forced the event to be moved.
“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” NCAA president, Mark Emmert said in a statement. “We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.”
The NCAA is not the first organization to remove a major event from North Carolina since the bill was passed. The NBA pulled the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte and prominent entertainers including Bruce Springsteen have elected to scratch as a tour stop.
Heather O’Reilly, who played at the University of North Carolina and lives in the state, took to Instagram to offer her thoughts on the decision and on HB2.
North Carolina is a special place for me. It’s where I went to school, played college soccer, where I met my husband, and where I call home. It’s sad to see this place that I love pass a law that openly discriminates against people. The NCAA has announced that it was removing all of its championships from the state because the elected leaders in North Carolina have failed to protect people’s civil rights. Division I, II, and III championships in sports including women’s soccer, men’s basketball, and women’s lacrosse will now take place in other states. Although I am disappointed that student-athletes and their fans will not have the opportunity to compete for championships in the state that means so much to me, I support the NCAA’s commitment to fairness and inclusion when deciding where to hold these events. We all need to do our part to stand-up for fairness and speak out against discrimination. I’ll continue to do mine by supporting two candidates for public office in North Carolina that are fighting to repeal this discriminatory law – they are Josh Stein (Attorney General) and Roy Cooper (Governor). North Carolina is better than this and with new leadership, I know the state I love will once again be a place I am proud to call home.
A new site for the College Cup is expected to be announced soon. The semifinals are scheduled for Friday, December 2 with the final two days later. A new host for the event is expected to be announced soon.
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