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NCAA Pulls 7 Championship Events From North Carolina, Citing Transgender Law

An official, photographers, cheerleaders and others wait for play to resume during an NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament second-round game between the Butler Bulldogs and the Virginia Cavaliers in March in Raleigh, N.C. This coming spring the Road to the Final Four won't go through North Carolina, as the NCAA has decided to move three games out of Greensboro.

The NCAA announced Monday evening that it would relocate seven championship sporting events out of North Carolina during this school year, citing the state's HB2 law limiting civil rights protections for LGBT individuals, WUNC's Dave DeWitt reports.

The events moving out of state include first and second rounds of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship — part of the Road to the Final Four — originally slated to be in Greensboro, DeWitt reports.

In a press release, the Board emphasized that "NCAA championships and events must promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans. Current North Carolina state laws make it challenging to guarantee that host communities can help deliver on that commitment if NCAA events remained in the state."

The state Republican party countered late Monday with a scathing press release written by spokeswoman Kami Mueller.

"This is so absurd it's almost comical. I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men's and women's teams together as singular unisex teams. Under the NCAA's logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers and hotel rooms. This decision is an assault to female athletes across the nation."

HB2 earlier cost the state the 2017 NBA All-Star game, DeWitt notes. The law limits anti-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals and requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that match the sex listed on their birth certificates, rather than the gender with which they identify.

Equality NC executive director Chris Sgro writes in a press release that "it has become clear that the shadow HB2 has cast on North Carolina is hurting our economy, our reputation and our people every day."

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