ACC pulls athletic championships out of North Carolina amid backlash over bathroom law

In this Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 file photo, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs the ball as North Carolina's M.J. Stewart (6) moves in for the tackle during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)
In this Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 file photo, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs the ball as North Carolina's M.J. Stewart (6) moves in for the tackle during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)

CLEMSON, SC (AP)– The Atlantic Coast Conference has followed the NCAA’s lead and pulled its athletic championships out of North Carolina amid backlash over the controversial bathroom law.

The ACC Council of Presidents voted Wednesday to relocate the league’s championships until North Carolina repeals the law. The decision includes all championships this academic school year, which means relocating the ACC football title game that was scheduled to be played in Charlotte in December.

On Monday, the NCAA said it was relocating seven of its championships scheduled to be played in the state, including the men’s basketball first- and second-round matchups scheduled for next March in Greensboro, North Carolina.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford said after the NCAA’s decision that his league would review its next steps.

The NCAA’s decision to pull seven championships out of North Carolina ratchets up the pressure on this college sports-crazy state to repeal its law on bathroom use by transgender people.

Unlike the recent one-time cancellations by the NBA and various rock stars, the move by college sports’ governing body could make moderate and conservative voters question whether the price tag for the law has finally become too high.

Economic development officials said the effect of the NCAA’s action goes well beyond the projected $20 million in lost revenue from the cancellation of the 2016-17 basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, lacrosse and golf events.

The law passed in March requires transgender people to use restrooms in schools and state government buildings that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate. It also excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide antidiscrimination protections.

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