Southern Conference decides to keep championships in North Carolina, bucking boycott trend

Chattanooga coach Matt McCall celebrates with his team after winning the Southern Conference men's basketball championship against East Tennessee State University in Asheville, N.C.
(Ben Earp / Associated Press)

The Southern Conference reportedly has chosen to keep four upcoming league championships in North Carolina despite a controversial state law that restricts the rights of LGBT people.

Southern Conference officials announced Friday they will not join the NBA, NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference, all of which recently said they will shift major sporting events to other states.

For the record:

7:04 p.m. May 31, 2019An earlier version of this article stated that the Southeastern Conference announced Friday it was keeping four of its championships in North Carolina. It is the Southern Conference, not the SEC.

The Southern Confernce has title events in men’s soccer, men’s golf and men’s and women’s basketball scheduled at North Carolina sites during the 2016-17 school year.

In a statement reported by the Associated Press, the presidents and chancellors of Southern Conference schools said they would follow their schedule as planned but “reaffirmed their resolute opposition to legislation that discriminates against any individual.”


The North Carolina law, passed last spring, limits legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at hotels, shops and restaurants. It also restricts the bathrooms and locker rooms that transgender people can use.

In recent months, the state has seen a spate of industry conventions, corporate businesses and rock concerts move elsewhere.

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