North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory fired back at the NCAA on Tuesday, calling the organization’s decision to relocate seven championship events scheduled in North Carolina “political retaliation.”
The NCAA’s decision, announced Monday, came in response to House Bill 2, the state’s “bathroom law” that prevents local governments from passing nondiscrimination ordinances for LGBT people, and bars transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
“The issue of redefining gender and basic norms of privacy will be resolved in the near future in the United States for not only North Carolina, but the entire nation,” the Republican governor said in a statement. “I strongly encourage all public and private institutions to both respect and allow our nation’s judicial system to proceed without economic threats or political retaliation toward the 22 states that are currently challenging government overreach.”
“Sadly, the NCAA, a multibillion-dollar, tax-exempt monopoly, failed to show this respect at the expense of our student athletes and hard-working men and women,” he added.
NCAA President Mark Emmert said earlier on Tuesday that it was a “no-brainer” to move the sporting events, a decision the group’s board of governors attributed to “the cumulative actions taken by the state concerning civil rights protections.”
The NCAA is the second major sports association to pull events from the Tar Heel State this year.
In July, the NBA announced it would move the 2017 NBA All-Star Game because of the law, backed by Republicans, saying it conflicted with the league’s values of “diversity, inclusion, fairness, and respect.”