Wednesday, September 14, 2016

ACC Conference Pulls All Championship Games from North Carolina

Following the actions of the NCAA, the ACC has announced via press release that it has pulled all championship games from North Carolina for the 2016-2017 academic year.   This move will no doubt further fuel the fury being directed at North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory in particular and the North Carolina GOP in general, but more on this shortly.  The ACC press release reads in part as follows:
Statement from the ACC Council of Presidents:“As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values and therefore, we will continue to host ACC Championships at campus sites. We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year. All locations will be announced in the future from the conference office.” Statement from Clemson University President James P. Clements, chair of the ACC Council of Presidents: “The ACC presidents engaged in a constructive, wide-ranging and vigorous discussion of this complex issue over the past two days. The decision to move the neutral site championships out of North Carolina while HB 2 remains the law was not an easy one but it is consistent with the shared values of inclusion and non-discrimination at all of our institutions.”

Now for the fun part - or at least in my view.  GOP political whore, Pat McCrory is getting excoriated and being blamed for the damage being done to North Carolina, both in terms of lost business and now the stain put on collegiate sports and the adverse impact on North Carolina athletes.  Above is the image of  the front page of the sports section in today’s Greensboro News & Record.   Here are some excerpts from the editorial:
Above is just one article on the front page of the sports section in today’s Greensboro News & Record. See the full thing below. Here’s what two college athletes are saying in an op-ed for the Raleigh News & Observer We hoped it wouldn’t get this far. We hoped cooler heads would prevail as the two sides rolled toward the cliff.  But now it’s happened. We’ve lost the NCAA basketball tournament for March. We’ve lost the NCAA soccer tournaments for December.
 Thanks, Governor Pat.
 In a shocking announcement this evening, the NCAA announced it was pulling all postseason events from the state of North Carolina for 2016-17 in response to the state’s refusal to reconsider the controversial House Bill 2 law that discriminates against the LGBT community and limits civil rights protections.
 This is an embarrassment to North Carolina. Aside from it being a logistical and economic problem for cities such as Greensboro and Cary, which will lose four events scheduled for the upcoming year, this is a slap in the face of a state that has a long tradition of hosting NCAA postseason events. [I]t’s also an indication of how tone-deaf our governor is. Having the embarrassment of seeing the NBA All-Star Game taken from the city where he was once mayor wasn’t enough for McCrory, who seemed to delight in the attention the snub brought. Did he really think the NCAA was powerless to further inflict pain on the cities of his state?
 McCrory has now hurt North Carolina. His senseless crowing about bathrooms and birth certificates has made him look like fool in front of the entire country. And now he’s dragged us into it and forced us to pay.

 This didn’t have to come to this. Cooler heads could've worked this out. People with sense don’t do this. Governors with compassion for the people they represent don’t allow this to happen.  This is a blow to our way of life. This is a slap in the face of a state that has long been a model of progressive ideas.
 McCrory has made a fool of himself and made us all pay for his foolish ignorance. The best thing we can do now is hope for the best when the new sites are awarded and hope our governor has already rolled off the cliff by himself.

Ouch!!  But there's more fun to be witnessed.  Here’s what two college athletes are saying in an op-ed for the Raleigh News & Observer:
Sports are the anti-discrimination.  All sports, no matter what kind, reward one thing and one thing only: the better performance.

And yet we continue to witness intrusions into our respective epicenters of fairness that turn our stomachs. . . . this time the intrusion comes from Gov. Pat McCrory’s office. In reaction to HB2, the NCAA’s Board of Governors will relocate all seven collegiate championship events from North Carolina in the upcoming year. The University of Vermont and the University of Albany have already canceled games against our university and others within North Carolina. Every single one of those events was an opportunity for the staff, administration and student-body communities of colleges throughout the state to demonstrate what they work so hard for. They were opportunities for students to compete for championships in their home state. They were opportunities to celebrate universal values of discipline, perseverance, the pursuit of excellence.
Instead, McCrory has associated us with states that fly discriminatory symbols on state grounds and schools that use “abusive Native American imagery” – other violations for which the NCAA bans championships.
Our jerseys are stained with hate, exclusion and injustice. For better or worse, fair or unfair, we are associated with HB2. Not hard work, blood, sweat or tears. Not sportsmanship.

As I have noted a number of times, I hope that members of the Virginia GOP are watching and perhaps realizing that prostituting themselves to Victoria Cobb and her fellow hate merchants at The Family Foundation during the 2017 session of the General Assembly could inflict a huge cost on Virginia and irs citizens.  Bigotry and hate carry a cost - just ask North Carolina.  

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