Commentary

NC sports columnist: NCAA should tell North Carolina that HB2 “repeal” is “lipstick on a pig”

You know your state is seriously behind the times when it’s getting blasted over basic social policy by journalists who normally busy themselves with touchdowns, fast breaks and home runs. Yet here’s another important North Carolina sports columnist speaking out: Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer. Fowler says the NCAA should tell North Carolina that today’s HB2 repeal bill is not nearly enough:

“If I were the NCAA, I would have four words for North Carolina regarding this HB2 repeal:

Not nearly good enough.

It’s obvious that the HB2 ‘repeal’ has been approved 70-48 after winding its way through the political corridors of our great state has a sense of urgency. It awaits the governor’s signature because the NCAA is about to hand out another string of championship site selections for 2018-2022, and North Carolina wants to be included.

But I can’t see how the NCAA will do anything but tell North Carolina lawmakers that this shot just rimmed out. No, worse than that. This compromise that pleases no one is an airball, and should be labeled as such by a passionate crowd that just saw a terrible misfire in a packed arena.

Although state legislators and Gov. Roy Cooper are going to hail this as a last-minute victory assuming it jumps through every political hoop, it looks to me a lot more like smearing lipstick on a pig. It does not fulfill Cooper’s promises to the LGBT community. It does not allow local governments to pass anti-discrimination ordinances until at least December 2020, and that was one of HB2’s most basic and controversial requirements. The new bill leaves all gay people vulnerable to unequal treatment until past the next presidential election.

The NCAA hasn’t commented yet, but recently it noted in a statement and on Twitter that “The NCAA Board of Governors relocated NCAA championships because of the cumulative impact HB2 had on local communities’ ability to ensure a safe, healthy, discrimination-free atmosphere for all those watching and participating in our events.”

I can’t imagine this new bill will do anything to change that. The NCAA should tell North Carolina to go pound sand.”

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