The NCAA announced on Sept. 12 that seven of its championships will no longer be held in North Carolina due to the state’s controversial “anti-gay” bathroom laws. Two days later, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) announced it would move its conference championships out of North Carolina for the same reason.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is upset over those decisions. McCrory said the NCAA and ACC are abusing their influence over consumers, according to ABC News.
“American families should be on notice that the selective corporate elite are imposing their political will on communities in which they do business, bypassing the democratic and legal process,” said McCrory in an ABC News article posted online.
Here is my question to McCrory: What did you expect?
The North Carolina Legislature passed House Bill 2 (HB2) on March 23. The bill bans transgender people from using public bathrooms designated for the gender with which they identify, and it prohibits cities within the state from adopting their own policies on the matter. Private businesses are allowed to adopt their own policies, but many private businesses didn’t bother and instead chose to express their disagreement by relocating across state borders.
The NCAA is a business, and it’s a very profitable one. In 2014, the NCAA raked in nearly $1 billion, with nearly $81 million in profit, according to USA Today. Likewise, the ACC made over $302 million, according to the Daily Press.
Sure, McCrory is correct about one thing: These businesses are in the elite category. They bring in millions of dollars to the state. Losing the business of these corporations does a lot of damage to the state’s bottom line.
But do businesses not have the right to come and go where they please? Is this not a free market?
I’m no economist, and I’m not a politician, but I understand something McCrory misses: The actions of the NCAA and ACC are what happens in a democratic society.
Americans are free to say and do what they want for the most part, but it’s a double-edged sword because there might be negative consequences from exercising that right. It’s up for debate whether HB2 is a constitutional law, but regardless, it appears that the North Carolina Legislature passed a law that didn’t represent the will of the people.
I have always been a supporter of states’ rights and individual freedom. Some state constitutions do not prohibit sexually discriminatory legislation, meaning they can pass laws like HB2. But if a state chooses to do this, it has to be ready to face the consequences of that discrimination.
Suppose I have a restaurant and I don’t want to serve transgender people. I am well within my rights to refuse service, but no one will come to my restaurant because I am a bigot and a jerk. In the end, my discrimination will be my demise.
North Carolina’s legislature seems to be in the minority, as 56 percent of “Generation X” and 71 percent of millennials support the LGBTQ community, according to the Pew Research center. Should it come as a surprise that people are unhappy over HB2? The business owners who disagree with their state representatives’ actions are voicing their frustration the best way they can.
Money talks, and “Power of the people” refers to more than elections. McCrory and the HB2 supporters will stand firm in their decision, but when businesses that disagree exercise their right to do business where they please, McCrory and crew shouldn’t act surprised.
One of the biggest criticisms of Republicans is that they cater to the corporate money makers. We’ll find out sooner or later if that’s true, because North Carolina won’t have many corporate money makers if the trend continues.