GREENSBORO, N.C. – Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan is speaking out after the decision by the NCAA to move seven championship events out of the state due to HB2.
Two of the events included the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship first/second rounds and also the Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships, both were scheduled to be held in Greensboro.
Mayor Vaughan said at a news conference outside of the ACC Hall of Champions at the Greensboro Coliseum, the city currently had 55 bids pending that would bring in an estimated impact of $154 million.
Vaughan also stated, "If we are not given any bids in the next four years with the NCAA that means that we are going to be in an athletic drought."
Vaughan also said there's a real possibility the ACC could follow in the NCAA footsteps.
"I had a conversation with John Swofford a few weeks ago and he mentioned and the NCAA mentioned they can’t make exceptions for one city.," said Vaughan. "They have said in the past that they will probably follow suit with the NCAA. You know, hopefully they can hold on for a couple of weeks, maybe if there’s a change in election, they could give the possibility of working this out. I don’t know but my concern is they would probably move very quickly.”
Joe Saunders with the Human Rights Campaign also spoke at the conference. Saunders called on Governor Pat McCroroy to disavow and apologize.
“Governor Pat McCrory needs to take responsibility and he needs to apologize and not just for costing the state the NCAA's but for inexcusable statements released by the North Carolina Republican Party in response.”
Governor McCrory released a statement on NCAA's decision to move the games on Tuesday, saying:
"The issue of redefining gender and basic norms of privacy will be resolved in the near future in the United States court system for not only North Carolina, but the entire nation. 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 multi-billion dollar, tax-exempt monopoly, failed to show this respect at the expense of our student-athletes and hard-working men and women."
Business owners also expressed their concerns at the news conference. They say if they allowed discrimination, they wouldn't be in business very long.
One owner said, “Pat McCrory North Carolina is your business and you have broken a covenant with small business owners.”
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