In a move that might have a tad more relevance to the average North Carolinian than missing out on a Blue Man Group performance or show from Cirque Du Soleil, the National Collegiate Athletics Association has issued a statement suggesting that it might be moving games in its 2017 men’s basketball tournament out of the state. As with Cirque—and Bruce Springsteen, who canceled a show in the Tar Heel state earlier this month—the issue is the state’s recently passed House Bill 2, which prohibits people from using a bathroom for a gender other than the one on their birth certificate, and is widely viewed as an attack on LGBT rights.
The statement from the NCAA’s board of governors didn’t name North Carolina or HB2 explicitly, but it did state that NCAA events must “demonstrate how they will provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination, plus safeguards the dignity of everyone involved in the event.” Board chair Kirk Schulz elaborated on the statement, adding, “The higher education community is a diverse mix of people from different racial, ethnic, religious and sexual orientation backgrounds. So it is important that we assure that community—including our student-athletes and fans—will always enjoy the experience of competing and watching at NCAA championships without concerns of discrimination.”
North Carolina often serves as a host for portions of the NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament; the Greensboro Coliseum is currently set to host several games in the 2017 bouts.