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Photo via Devilkae/GettyImages (Licensed)
The state could lose over $250 million as a result.
A leaked letter reveals that North Carolina is very close to losing 133 sporting event bids over House Bill 2, the highly controversial law that forces transgender people to access facilities based on their sex assigned at birth, not their gender identity.
According to the letter to the North Carolina General Assembly from the North Carolina Sports Association (NCSA), which was shared by Pink News, the NCAA began its championship event evaluation process in January. The process, which continues through March, came with a stern warning to the North Carolina Sports Association: “All North Carolina bids will be pulled from the review process and removed from consideration” if H.B. 2 remains law.
Now, time is running out for North Carolina to secure any championship events. The NCAA’s official Twitter account, InsidetheNCAA, confirmed in an official statement published on March 23 that the organization will pull all North Carolina championship events up to 2022 if H.B. 2 is not repealed.
“As the state knows, next week our various sports committees will begin making championships site selections for 2018-2022 based upon bids received from across the country,” the post reads. “Once the sites are selected by the committee, those decisions are final and an announcement of all sites will be made on April 18.”
NCAA reaffirms North Carolina championship stance. pic.twitter.com/2XqPodlQUP
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) March 23, 2017
According to the leaked letter from the NCSA, this would be a huge blow to the state’s economy. The state’s 133 bids “represent more than $250 million in potential economic impact for the state,” the letter alleges, with some sports officials arguing that even more money could be at stake. The NCSA is also concerned that the NCAA will bring “the Atlantic Coast Conference and many other sports organizations” with it, significantly damaging the state’s sporting legacy and draining any additional economic gain that would result from the various organizations’ sporting events.
This wouldn’t be the first time that North Carolina has lost a major championship game because of the H.B. 2. Last year, the NBA pulled the 2017 All-Star Game out of North Carolina over the law. Refusing to back down, then-Gov. Pat McCrory cried foul at the move.
“The sports and entertainment elite, Attorney General Roy Cooper, and the liberal media have for months misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina simply because most people believe boys and girls should be able to use school bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers without the opposite sex present,” he said. “Left-wing special interest groups have no moral authority to try and intimidate the large majority of American parents who agree in common-sense bathroom and shower privacy for our children.”
Previously, the NCAA pulled championship games from North Carolina over the law.
Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.