NCAA pulls championships out of North Carolina over bathroom law
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The National Collegiate Athletic Association will pull its championship events from North Carolina over the state's recently passed law that that critics say targets gay people and transgender people. 

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The NCAA had previously awarded seven championship events to North Carolina, but announced Monday they would be relocated after the state passed a law barring transgender people from using public restrooms that match their gender identity. 

“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” Mark Emmert, the NCAA president, said in a statement," according to The New York Times. 

“We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.”

The NCAA also criticized a law that prevents local governments from passing anti-discrimination laws that include protections for sexual orientation or gender identity. 

“We are surprised and disappointed by the NCAA’s decision and regret the impact it will have on North Carolina's student-athletes, coaches, athletic staffs, fans, and the North Carolina communities previously chosen to host these championship events," UNC President Margaret Spellings said in a statement.

"As reflected in long-standing University policy, UNC campuses do not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, and we are fully committed to being open and welcoming to individuals of all backgrounds. 

"We remain caught in the middle of a conflict between state law and federal guidance, and we welcome a speedy resolution of these issues by the court.”

North Carolina's Republican Party slammed the decision, calling it "so absurd, it's almost comical." 

"I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men's and women's teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams," spokeswoman Kami Mueller wrote in a statement. 

"Under the NCAA's logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers and hotel rooms. This decision is an assault to female athletes across the nation." 

Two months ago, the National Basketball Association announced it would move its All-Star Game from Charlotte as a protest against the law. 

Numerous entertainment acts have also canceled events in the state. 

The Human Rights campaign Monday applauded the NCAA's decision.

“The NCAA just sent a clear message to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and state lawmakers that it will not tolerate hateful laws targeting student athletes, fans, and employees,” said Chad Griffin, president of the group. 

 “Every day that HB2 remains on the books, countless people across North Carolina are at risk of real harm. NCAA President Mark Emmert has shown tremendous leadership by taking a bold stand for equality in the face of discrimination. It’s long past time state lawmakers repealed this vile law, and if they don’t, the majority of voters opposed to HB2 will ensure they pay the price in November.”

Updated 10:57 p.m.