CIAA Keeps Basketball Tournaments in Charlotte - Higher Education
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CIAA Keeps Basketball Tournaments in Charlotte

by Diverse Staff

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, overwhelmingly comprised of historically Black colleges and universities, announced Friday that it will not move its basketball championship tournaments from Charlotte, North Carolina next February in the wake of a state law that restricts the rights of LGBT people.

Stating that “relocation would not be in the best interest” of members and players at this time, the CIAA had previously noted that it stood to lose around $6 million in potential revenue.

The NCAA Division II conference, however, will move eight other championships from the state. Those championships are men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track, and women’s tennis.

Although the CIAA did not mention House Bill 2 (often referred to as HB2 or the bathroom law), it clear the actions were following the lead of other sports associations taken in opposition to the bill. The National Basketball Association stripped Charlotte of hosting its All-Star Game and the NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference pulled championship events from the state. In addition, several corporations have shifted business away from the state.

Under HB2, transgender people are restricted from using restrooms at schools and government buildings corresponding to the gender with which they identify. Instead, they must use the restroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates. The law also excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from local and statewide anti-discrimination protections.

“The CIAA board recognizes that a single decision cannot offer a complete solution to a law that prevents communities from effectively protecting student-athletes and fans attending championships and events,” the league said in a statement released Friday. “The conference intends to increase its educational efforts to eliminate biases that exclude or marginalize any human being, regardless of one’s race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or physical disability. The board’s decision allows the conference to fight against any measures which prevent the fulfillment of its mission to foster inclusive cultures for its student-athletes.

“With the student-athlete experience in mind, the conference is committed to protecting all of its championship events.”

Chowan University is the lone non-HBCU among the 12 member institutions of the CIAA. Seven of the schools are located in North Carolina.

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