CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - The Atlantic Coast Conference has followed the NCAA's lead and is removing all its athletic championships from North Carolina over a state law that some say can lead to discrimination against LGBT people.
The ACC Council of Presidents voted Wednesday to relocate the league's championships until North Carolina repeals the law. The decision includes all championship this academic school year, which means relocating the ACC football title game that was scheduled to be played in Charlotte in December.
On Monday, the NCAA said it was relocating seven of its championships scheduled to be played in the state, including the men's basketball first- and second-round matchups scheduled for next March in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“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," the ACC Council of Presidents said in a statement released on the league website. 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.”
ACC commissioner John Swofford, who personally called for the repeal of the law on Monday evening, released another statement on Wednesday.
“The ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and the opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount,” Swofford said. “Today’s decision is one of principle, and while this decision is the right one, we recognize there will be individuals and communities that are supportive of our values as well as our championship sites that will be negatively affected. Hopefully, there will be opportunities beyond 2016-17 for North Carolina neutral sites to be awarded championships.”
The neutral-site championships moving include the following sports: women's soccer, football, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, women's golf, men's golf and baseball.
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