NCAA tourney sites in Arkansas? Not likely. | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NCAA tourney sites in Arkansas? Not likely.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 9:49 AM

NOT COMING TO ARKANSAS: If the NCAA holds true to avoid places that discriminate against gay peope.
  • NOT COMING TO ARKANSAS: If the NCAA holds true to avoid places that discriminate against gay peope.
This from the Human Rights Campaign:

In a message responding to a letter from the HRC Foundation, Athlete Ally, and more than 80 national, state, and local LGBTQ organizations, NCAA President Mark Emmert late Monday strongly reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to ensuring safe and welcoming environments for its championship tournaments and events.

In his response, Emmert wrote, “The Board and I remain committed to maintaining a college sports experience that is inclusive and fair for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. As the next round of site selections is underway, this commitment has not changed. The bidding process for hosting NCAA events now explicitly asks potential sites how they will provide an environment that is safe, respectful and free of discrimination at the events. We expect that all people will be welcomed and treated with respect at our NCAA championships and events.”

Said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin): “The NCAA has made it clear they won't abide by discrimination against their athletes, fans or employees. With anti-LGBTQ bills advancing in dozens of states, lawmakers from North Carolina to Texas to South Dakota will know that discrimination has consequences. We are proud to have an ally like NCAA President Mark Emmert, who is doing what's right to help ensure LGBTQ people and their families are protected.

Arkansas law currently:

1) Explicitly protects discrimination against gay people. You need only claim a "religious" reason.

2) Explicitly prohibits local ordinances protecting LGBT people.

Also: The legislature currently is considering at least 14 more anti-LGBT laws, including a bathroom bill by Linda Collins-Smith that may come up in committee today. An influential lobby with the legislature, the anti-gay Family Council, threw down its marker in support of overt gay discrimination yesterday.

Should Arkansas attempt to compete for an NCAA tourney site, be sure a competitor can provide black-and-white proof of an environment unsafe, disrespectful and discriminatory toward gay people in Arkansas.

NCAA to Arkansas tourney bids: "You're fired!"


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