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Roy Williams won another NCAA title. And Roy Cooper may have won us more NCAAs.

Which highlights the big part that sports played in the HB2 repeal.

Give the NCAA and ACC credit for an assist. Point to them. They stood up and spoke out against HB2 from the start. For that they got grief from Pat McCrory and Republicans. But their gutsy stand helped force Republicans to back down.

The NCAA and ACC – and Roy Williams and that guy at Duke, both of whom also spoke out – showed more courage than many business people, who didn’t speak out because they were afraid of the Republican legislature.

Now that HB2 is gone, a lot of business people are still afraid to speak out. They’re afraid of the Human Relations Campaign and EqualityNC, which don’t like the repeal bill.

Irony alert: EqualityNC used the NCAA and ACC to argue for repeal of HB2. Then EqualityNC criticized Governor Cooper for “kowtowing” to sports when HB2 was repealed.

It‘s disappointing that the NCAA reinstated North Carolina for tournament consideration only “reluctantly.” That’s like a UNC fan complaining about winning the title in such an ugly game.

A win is a win. A championship is a championship. Repeal is repeal.

But a question lingered. Why did the ACC and NCAA take such a strong stand against HB2? Why did those “dumb jocks” care?

A young friend who worked for the ACC explained it. She said college sports has a lot of exposure to and experience with gay and transgender athletes. The “dumb jocks” are way ahead of society.

They should keep pushing us and teaching us. North Carolina has taken a big step in the right direction. But we still have a long way to go.

 

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