ACC moves championship games out of North Carolina

Conference is third major organization to shift neutral site sporting events out of the state

More neutral site sporting events were pulled out of North Carolina on Wednesday afternoon.

The ACC announced that all eight neutral site conference championship games scheduled to be hosted in the state of North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year will be relocated.

The most notable championship that will be moved is the conference’s football finale, which was set to be hosted in Charlotte.

The announcement was in response to the state’s controversial House Bill Two (HB2), which among other things, states that those who identify as transgender must use restrooms associated with the gender on their birth certificate.

“The ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and the opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount,” ACC president John Swofford said in a statement released to the media. “Today’s decision is one of principle, and while this decision is the right one, we recognize there will be individuals and communities that are supportive of our values as well as our championship sites that will be negatively affected.”

Both SU Chancellor Kent Syverud and Director of Athletics John Wildhack released statements supporting the ACC’s decision.

“Diversity and inclusion are hallmarks at Syracuse University and within Syracuse Athletics,” Wildhack’s statement said.

The ACC was the third major organization to move major sporting events out of the state in protest of HB2. In July, the NBA announced that it was moving the league’s 2017 all-star game out of Charlotte, and just two days ago the NCAA pulled seven national championship events out of the state.

 Earlier this year, SUNY Albany cancelled a non-conference game scheduled for the 2016-17 season at Duke because of New York State’s objections to HB2.

“How many companies and sports organizations have to leave NC before the Governor & NCGA leadership wake up to the 21st Century & repeal HB2?” Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts wrote in a tweet.

All new locations for the championship games will be announced by the conference office, the ACC’s statement said. Championships that are hosted on campus will be allowed to be played in the state if the situation arises.

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