NCAA withdraws tournaments from North Carolina over anti-gay law

LOS ANGELES, USA – US collegiate officials announced Monday, September 12 (Tuesday, September 13 in Manila) that 7 sporting events previously awarded to North Carolina would be relocated over the state's law limiting anti-discrimination protections for gays.

In July, the National Basketball Association also announced that it was pulling the 2017 All-Star Game out of the state because of the controversial House Bill 2 law. The NCAA is the nation's most prominent college sports organization.

"Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships," NCAA president Mark Emmert said.

"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."

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, cheered the move.

"The NCAA just sent a clear message to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and state lawmakers that it will not tolerate hateful laws targeting student athletes, fans and employees," said Griffin.

Among the events to be moved from the state are two early rounds of the Division I men's college basketball tournament and the women's Division I college soccer finals.

"Every day that HB2 remains on the books, countless people across North Carolina are at risk of real harm," said Griffin.

"NCAA President Mark Emmert has shown tremendous leadership by taking a bold stand for equality in the face of discrimination." – Rappler.com