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NEW YORK (Oct. 7) – Today, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) announced new sites for seven 2016-2017 championships. Originally to take place in North Carolina, the championship sites were relocated due to concerns over that state’s anti-LGBT legislation, known as HB2. All new locations have some type of LGBT-inclusion practice, through legislation or by host or venue policies.
Last month the NCAA stated it would move these events from North Carolina, citing the dangers student-athletes and administrators would face in the state. This historical decision marks the first time the NCAA has moved events in response to HB2.
The newly-awarded venues are the first to be chosen under the NCAA’s new anti-discrimination bidding process. The new process was implemented to help ensure that all NCAA players, coaches and staff were safe and welcomed at NCAA events.
Hudson Taylor, Executive Director of Athlete Ally said: “We are encouraged by the NCAA’s first round of venue selections. Moving the game from a state with an anti-LGBT law was a major first step. Selecting venues that, at a minimum, have hosts committed to, or required to, protect LGBT people is a necessary complement.”
Athlete Ally’s Director of Policy and Campaigns Ashland Johnson said, “The best way to ensure LGBT players, coaches and fans have a safe and inclusive championship experience is to host these events in locations with LGBT nondiscrimination laws. We will continue to encourage the NCAA and college conferences to continuously prioritize cities and states with legal protections.”
The championships and new sites are as follows:
Division I Women’s Soccer: San Jose, California- Avaya Stadium
Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer: Salem, Virginia- Kerr Stadium
Division I Men’s Basketball: Greenville, South Carolina- Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Division I Women’s Golf: Athens, Georgia- University of Georgia Golf Course
Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis: Chattanooga, Tennessee- Champions Tennis Club
Division I Women’s Lacrosse: Amherst, Massachusetts – Gillette Stadium
Division II Baseball: Grand Prairie, Texas – The Ballpark in Grand Prairie
Athlete Ally is a non-profit organization that educates and activates athletic communities to champion LGBT equality. Athlete Ally works with MLB, MLS, the NBA, WNBA, and NBPA on player development and LGBT inclusion. It also co-wrote Champions of Respect, the NCAA’s guide on LGBT policies and best practices. Athlete Ally also partners with over 150 professional athletes and college campuses to promote LGBT respect and inclusion.
Director of Policy and Campaigns