GLAAD to America's coaches and athletic communities: it's time to publicly reject anti-LGBTQ bills across the USA

Follow the lead of North Carolina’s Roy Williams and ‘Coach K,’ says GLAAD’s Sarah Kate Ellis

NEW YORK – Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, released the following statement after some NCAA men’s basketball coaches, including Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski and University of North Carolina coach Roy Williams, reiterated their call for North Carolina’s political leaders to reject the failed HB2 law and the negative effects it has had on the state economy.

“Coaches in American towns are not just key leaders in their communities but they are mentors that set an example for our children. With numerous anti-LGBTQ bills popping up across this country, we need more leaders like coaches Krzyzewski and Williams who will stand up to political bullies while showing what’s the right thing to do – protecting our nation’s most vulnerable.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: HB2’s Harmful Impact to North Carolina Economy

Coaches Reject HB2

Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski Rejects HB2 Numerous Times. “’It would be nice if our state got as smart and also would host not just basketball tournaments but concerts and other NCAA events. But maybe we'll get there in the next century, I don't know. We'll see. Look, it's a stupid thing. That's my political statement. If I was president or governor I'd get rid of it. And I'd back up my promises. As unusual as that might be. Anyway, I don't want to get too political.’” [Sports Illustrated, 3.17.17], [USA Today, 7.20.16]

UNC’s Roy Williams on HB2: ‘What we have now is wrong.’ “Roy Williams isn’t shy when it comes to voicing his opinion about North Carolina’s controversial ‘bathroom bill.’ Williams already spoke about House Bill 2 in Brooklyn during the ACC Tournament and again in Greensboro at the start of the NCAA Tournament. He kept up the commentary during a press conference in Chapel Hill on Tuesday ahead of the Tar Heel’s NCAA Sweet 16 game against Butler in Memphis. ‘It shouldn’t just be about athletic events – that’s the most important thing. It should be about what’s right and wrong,’ Williams said. ‘And what we have now is wrong.’ [The News & Observer, 3.21.17]

Former North Carolina State Mark Gottfried was “Appalled” by HB2. “North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried said he was “appalled” by the bill and is embarrassed when he goes on recruiting visits and parents ask about it. ‘I’m against any law that allows discrimination, whether that’s based on race, gender, sexual orientation," Gottfried told USA TODAY Sports. "I don’t understand how someone can support this. I think the people at N.C. State, we believe in inclusion. Being a resident of the state, for me and my family, it’s been frustrating.’” [USA Today, 7.20.16]

Elon University’s Matt Matheny Against HB2, Said “As Coaches, We’re Leaders.” “’What I love about coaching is that I can sit down with players of different backgrounds,’ Matheny said. ‘It’s important to expose players to what’s going on outside the basketball court. It’s important that they’re aware of issues that our state and our country faces. As coaches, we’re the leaders. It’s important that we as coaches at programs — big or small — use our platform to promote a positive message.’” [USA Today, 7.20.16]

HB2 Impact on Economy

HB2 Cost North Carolina $5 Billion a Year in Revenue. “North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 could cost the state almost $5 billion a year, according to a report Wednesday from the Williams Institute, a UCLA School of Law think tank that focuses on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. Most of the economic hit would come from the loss of federal funding, since the U.S. government has said HB2 is a violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Title IX. The report, however, also took into account the loss of business investment, reduced travel and tourism, the costs of litigation and enforcement, as well as costs associated with high school dropouts, workplace discrimination, health disparities, productivity loss, retention and recruitment.” [Charlotte Observer, 5.11.16]

HEADLINE: “NCAA Will Pull More Events From North Carolina Unless HB2 Is Repealed, Sports Group Warns” [Huffington Post, 2.6.17]

HB2 Cost North Carolina’s Economy $630 Million. “The fate of North Carolina’s controversial HB2 hangs in the balance of Tuesday’s election. The ‘Bathroom Bill’ is the colloquial, if crude, name for the state’s law that has cost the state at least $630 million in lost business since March, according to FORBES’ estimates. And that number could go even higher.” [Forbes, 11.3.16]

HEADLINE: “PayPal cancels $3.6 million North Carolina expansion over state’s anti-LGBT law” [New York Daily News, 4.5.16]

Bruce Springsteen Cancels Concert Because of HB2. “Canceled Bruce Springsteen concert to cost North Carolina arena $100K in lost revenue” [MassLive, 4.8.16]