Non-sports fans may be surprised to learn that one of the best recent op-eds on the disastrous impacts of HB2 can be found this morning on the sports page of Raleigh’s News & Observer under the byline of columnist Luke DeCock. The ostensible purpose of the column is to take the Atlantic Coast Conference to task for having waited so long to take a stand against North Carolina’s all-purpose LGBT discrimination law, but it also includes several other fine observations about the law itself. Here’s the conclusion to the essay:
“What a horrible irony: Greensboro, rated the Carolinas’ most welcoming city for the LGBT community by the Human Rights Campaign, would love to continue hosting the women’s basketball tournament. Instead, because of an anti-LGBT state law, that tournament is going to end up somewhere that isn’t nearly as excited about it.
It’s just yet another way HB2, whose supporters spuriously claim it preserves North Carolina’s quality of life, keeps chipping away at it.
It was a bad law to begin with, poorly written and hurriedly passed in a shortsighted partisan gesture that has now cost the state dearly. Its heralded bathroom clauses were unenforceable, their purpose already covered by existing criminal law; its heavy-handed restrictions on anti-discrimination protections were clearly state-sanctioned bigotry.
While those who pushed it through and Gov. Pat McCrory refuse to countenance repeal, it continues to cost North Carolina not only its reputation but sports and jobs and money.
These sports events employ thousands of people who don’t get paid if they don’t happen. There are television freelancers in North Carolina who just saw six months of mortgage payments walk out of the state. There are charities that staff concession stands that will have to find new ways to raise funds. There are security people who will now be sitting at home instead of standing guard.
So you can add the ACC football championship in Charlotte, the ACC baseball tournament in Durham and all the others to the list that already includes PayPal, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, the NBA All-Star Game, the NCAA basketball tournament and so many other wonderful things North Carolina lost because of HB2, the gift that keeps on taking.
Turns out HB2 did a great job of keeping things separated: Keeping the things North Carolina loves separate from North Carolina.”
Click here to read the entire column.