Despite the passage of North Carolina's anti-LGBT HB2 law, the Atlantic Coast Conference won't move any championships events, Commissioner John Swofford said, though he added that it was subject to change.
As long as that venue and city can provide us with a statement of fairness and non-discrimination in every respect and assure that our student-athletes and fans and everybody associated with the event will be treated in a non-discriminatory way, then we will maintain the commitments that we have," Swofford said.
Four of the conference's members are based in North Carolina and the league's headquarters are located in Greensboro, N.C. Several of its marquee events are held in the state. The ACC football championship has been played in Charlotte since 2010 and will continue to be held there through at least 2019. After a two-year stay in Brooklyn in 2017 and 2018, its men's basketball tournament will be in Charlotte in 2019 and Greensboro in 2020. Last academic year, the ACC held 11 of its championships in the state.
If the law isn't repealed, Swofford said, future events beyond the ones currently scheduled could be impacted.
"We'll have to see what the endpoint is," he said. "What's the end result of all of this? I'm sure the conference will revisit that."
This is yet another profile in caution, not courage, by a sports league. It's obvious that the ACC is hoping that the federal government prevails in its lawsuit against North Carolina, and take the decision out of its hands. Otherwise, if the law stays in place and the ACC does nothing, it will be condoning discrimination, regardless of anything Swofford says.