ACC pulls its championship games from NC over LGBTQ bill

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First the NBA pulled the 2017 All-Star Game from North Carolina. Then the NCAA followed suit when, earlier this week, it pulled its national tournament events from the state.

Wednesday the Atlantic Coast Conference did the same, announcing that it was pulling all of its neutral site conference championship games from North Carolina.

The reason? The controversial HB2 law, which limits protections from discrimination for the LGBTQ community, which even resulted in Gov. Mark Dayton banning all nonessential travel to North Carolina by government employees.

The move means eight different neutral site conference championship events are being moved from North Carolina effective immediately. ACC Commissioner John Swofford issued a statement with the announcement:

"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. 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. Hopefully, there will be opportunities beyond 2016-17 for North Carolina neutral sites to be awarded championships."

This means the conference is now looking for a new home for eight of its championships, including men's and women's basketball and football.

But it may be the single biggest protest to date of the law. FOX Sports notes that no major college conference is as connected to a single state as the ACC is to North Carolina.

Four of the original seven members of the ACC – North Carolina, North Carolina State, Duke and Wake Forest – are from the state, and it has long been tradition for both the basketball and football championships to be played in Charlotte.

According to the Charlotte Observer, the economic impact of moving the conference football championship game from Charlotte alone is more than $30 million.

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