Cities with anti-LGBT laws can no longer host NCAA tournaments
In a ruling aimed at protecting athletes and fans, the NCAA Board of Governors has voted in favor of prohibiting cities with anti-LGBT and other discriminatory laws from hosting or bidding on any NCAA events.
The regulation will apply across all events in all sports and divisions, including the Final Four contests for men's and women's college basketball, the association announced Wednesday.
The ruling comes after action in several states, including Mississippi and North Carolina, has allowed for residents to be refused service because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
"We need to make sure our student athletes are competing in venues and competing in states that have an inclusive environment for all of our student athletes, our fans and our coaches," said Board of Governor's Chair Kirk Schulz in a video statement. "It's important for us to weigh in on these important issues and make sure that regardless of if our student's a Division One, Division Two or Division Three athlete, that their championship experience is among the best."
Sites already scheduled to host an NCAA event will be expected to comply with the ruling, the association said.
The NCAA noted that it already prohibits championship events from being hosted by schools whose mascots use offensive American Indian imagery, and in states whose governments display the Confederate flag.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver indicated last week that the league may move its 2017 All Star game from Charlotte if North Carolina does not overturn an anti-LGBT law that prohibits local governments from instituting rules protecting the LGBT community.