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ACC Decision Rounds Out 'Historically Bad Week' for North Carolina

Flickr/Suzie T

North Carolina's standing as a venue for championship-level collegiate sports has taken another hit because of House Bill 2. The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today that it will move 10 championship events out of North Carolina this year - including the ACC football championship game that was scheduled for December 3 in Charlotte. 

Mayor Jennifer Roberts says it’s frustrating that the ACC included Charlotte in its decision since the city passed LGBT protections that lawmakers overturned with the passage of HB 2, which limits protections for LGBT people.

“We know that our reputation has been damaged. We know that Charlotte has stood up for the right thing, stood up for equality, yet we are in a state that has preempted that,” Roberts said.

The ACC decision comes two days after the NCAA said it is pulling seven championship events from North Carolina because of House Bill 2.

The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance recruits and hosts many of these events. The group’s executive director, Scott Dupree, calls the moves "disappointing" and damaging.

"In terms of the sports event industry in North Carolina, this is an historically bad week and an unprecedented week in terms of lost business and damage to our reputation and brand as a great state for sporting events. "

The NCAA’s decision hits especially hard in the city of Cary near Raleigh, where four of the planned events would have been held -  including the Division 1 Women's Soccer championship in December. 
Cary will also lose tennis, lacrosse and baseball championships that were scheduled for spring.    The city has worked hard to brand itself as an amateur sports destination.

"You can scream all you want, but the bottom line is you’ve got to get people to talk to each other," Barry Mitsch, chairman of the Cary Chamber of Commerce, told WFAE's Mark Rumsey. "With the latest announcements, maybe that will open up some listening for some people who were reluctant to do that." (Click audio button above to listen to this interview)

Mark Rumsey grew up in Kansas and got his first radio job at age 17 in the town of Abilene, where he announced easy-listening music played from vinyl record albums.
Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.
David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.