This university won’t let its athletes travel to North Carolina over its anti-LGBT law
The University of Vermont is blocking athletes from travelling to North Carolina to compete over concerns about its anti-LGBT law HB2.
The university has cancelled an upcoming game for its women’s basketball team in the state.
According to the Burlington Free Press, the team, the Catamounts, was to face the University of North Carolina’s Tar Heels on 28 December at Chapel Hill.
But the athletic director at UVM Jeff Schulman said the cancellation came down to concerns over HB2, which limits transgender people’s bathroom use to one which corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate.
Schulman criticised the bill for discriminating against the trans community.
The director’s statement reads: “The decision to cancel to our Dec. 28 women’s basketball game at North Carolina was made as a result of concerns over the HB2 law, which prevents transgender people from using government-run bathrooms based on their gender identity.
“We strive very hard to create an inclusive climate for our students and staff in which they all can feel safe, respected, and valued. It would be hard to fulfill these obligations while competing in a state with this law, which is contrary to our values as an athletic department and university.”
He went on to say that he had floated the idea of the match taking place at a neutral setting or in Burlington, but that UNC had “nixed” the proposal.
The NBA announced last week that it had opted to move its 2017 All Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina, in protest against the state’s anti-LGBT HB2, which was introduced this year.
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The league previously said it was “deeply concerned” by North Carolina’s recently passed HB2, which rolled back pre-existing LGBT rights protections.
It was thought that HB2 would be repealed or revised in North Carolina, but lawmakers in the state last month adjourned, leaving the law barely changed.
Previously tweeting, the NBA said it was “deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principals of equality and mutual respect and do not know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star game in Charlotte.”
“It would be easy to say we’re moving it,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver clarified on Friday.
“We feel there’s a constructive role for the league to play. If we announce we’re moving it now, what’s the incentive to change the law?”
Springsteen was even accused of using “bully tactics” for cancelling the concert by one of the state’s Representatives.
But dozens of celebrities and hundreds of fans came to the defence of Springsteen, commending him for taking a stand.