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'Colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers'

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That is the official North Carolina GOP response to the NCAA moving sporting events from the state.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

On Monday, the NCAA pulled seven championship events from North Carolina in response to the anti-LGBT law HB2. Hours later, the North Carolina Republican Party issued this statement in response:

"This is so absurd it's almost comical. I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men's and women's teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams. Under the NCAA's logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers and hotel rooms.

"This decision is an assault to female athletes across the nation. If you are unwilling to have women's bathroom and locker rooms, how do you have a women's team? I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor. Perhaps the NCAA should stop with their political peacocking — and instead focus their energies on making sure our nation's collegiate athletes are safe, both on and off the field."

This statement is not a parody and was sent by North Carolina GOP spokeswoman Kami Mueller. Andrew Carter, a North Carolina reporter, at first couldn't believe it either:

The response is so bizarre that it's not worth refuting point by point. Among other provisions, HB2 discriminates against LGBT people, makes transgender people use the bathroom of the sex they were assigned at birth and prevents local government from enacting LGBT protections. It's an awful and bigoted bill and one that is being justly condemned. It has a 56% disapproval rating in the state (vs. 36% approval) and 70% of residents think it has hurt North Carolina's image. Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the bill into law, has trailed his Democratic opponent in every poll this summer.

Here are the seven events pulled by the NCAA from North Carolina:

  • 2016 Division I Women’s Soccer Championship, College Cup (Cary, N.C.), Dec. 2 and 4.
  • 2016 Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships (Greensboro), Dec. 2 and 3.
  • 2017 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, first/second rounds (Greensboro), March 17 and 19.
  • 2017 Division I Women’s Golf Championships, regional (Greenville), May 8-10.
  • 2017 Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships (Cary), May 22-27.
  • 2017 Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship (Cary), May 26 and 28.
  • 2017 Division II Baseball Championship (Cary), May 27-June 3.

College basketball is a secular religion in North Carolina, so losing NCAA men's tournament games is a big blow to the state. The NBA previously had removed the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte and some colleges canceled events that would have forced them to play in the state.

The Atlantic Coast Conference still has not yet made any decision on whether to move any events from the state. The biggie is the Dec. 3 ACC football championship, set to be held in Charlotte.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford said "on a personal note, it's time for this bill to be repealed as it's counter to basic human rights." He said that HB2 was set to be discussed this week at the ACC Council of Presidents meeting. It is hard to see how the ACC could keep the championship game in Charlotte in light of the strong action by the NBA and NCAA; to do otherwise would be to sanction discrimination.