The Vermont women’s basketball team has canceled its December road game against the Tar Heels on Thursday, citing North Carolina’s law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.
“The decision to cancel to our Dec. 28 women’s basketball game at North Carolina was made as a result of concerns over the HB2 law, which prevents transgender people from using government-run bathrooms based on their gender identity,” Vermont athletic director Jeff Schulman said in a statement.
“We strive very hard to create an inclusive climate for our students and staff in which they all can feel safe, respected, and valued. It would be hard to fulfill these obligations while competing in a state with this law, which is contrary to our values as an athletic department and university.”
Schulman said the decision to cancel the visit to UNC on Dec. 28 was made after consulting with coaches, the team and school officials.
“We fully understand and sympathize with the impact that this decision may have on the North Carolina women’s basketball schedule,” Schulman said. “However, we believe this decision is consistent with our values and the conversations with our coaches and student team members. These were the most important considerations.”
Vermont, in addition to getting 12 hotel rooms and three meals for the team, was to receive $17,500 from UNC for making the trip to Chapel Hill.
A number of events, including the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, have decided not to take place in North Carolina because of the HB2 law. The NBA instead decided to move the midseason showcase to New Orleans.