Last week, the NBA announced that it will be relocating the annual NBA All-Star Weekend from North Carolina, which now leaves the state with a large bill to cover.
The action taken by the NBA came after Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory signed a controversial bill that restricts transgender individuals from using the bathroom of the gender they identify with. The bill also creates a problem for victims of workplace discrimination to sue in state court.
Shortly after the NBA’s huge announcement, though, the CIAA made the surprising decision to stay in North Carolina despite outrage over HB2. “…the conference will not move its coveted basketball tournament from Charlotte,” the league announced Thursday, according to HBCU Sports. The first question to come to mind might be, why—why would one of the best historically black conferences chose to continue partnering with a state that does not see equality as just?
The simple answer is the money.
In early 2015, the Atlanta Black Star reported that the CIAA Basketball Tournament draws in well over 10,000 fans and brings in an additional $30 million in revenue. The CIAA has made the conscious decision to stay where the money is. And this partnership with the CIAA and the state of North Carolina has been legally “set in stone” at least until the 2020 season.
In a statement following their announcement, the CIAA expressed, “As we asses current and future championship locations, the CIAA will ensure that the host city and venue demonstrate a commitment to provide inclusive and non-discriminatory practices.” (How do they plan to go about implementing this?) “The CIAA’s decision to continue to host championship in North Carolina,” the statement read, “where 8 of our 12 member institutions reside, and hold its headquarters in Charlotte is a decision made for the best interest of the conference…”
It’s now very clear what the motives behind the CIAA’s reasoning behind staying. The CIAA had a big decision to make, and if they had chosen to leave and start anew in another state, how would they be sure that they could obtain the same amount of revenue. Nonetheless, the question still needing to be asked to them is, was it worth?
The NBA, and states like New York and two major businesses has chose their fans over the money and opted out on their partnerships in NC, possibly because they know of the social, political, and economical fire that they will receive had they chosen to stay.