The NCAA is now factoring host cities’ anti-discrimination policies into its decisions about where sporting events are held.
At its quarterly meeting this week, the Indianapolis-based college sports organization said it will now take into account whether a city can provide an environment free of discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.
The new metric affects the bidding process for mens’ and womens’ sporting events in all divisions as well as educational and leadership events and conferences.
NCAA Board of Governors Chairman Kirk Schulz explained in a video statement the decision is about creating a safe environment for student athletes, fans and coaches. The decision comes after multiple states recently passed laws some feel discriminate against LGBT people.
“It’s important for us to weigh in on these important issues and make sure regardless if the student is Division 1, Division 2 or Division 3 athlete, their championship experience is among the best,” he says.
THE NCAA hasn’t been shy in the past about using its status to endorse certain values. For example, it prohibits championship events played in states in which the government openly displays the Confederate Flag.
The announcement comes as the NBA stalls on making a similar decision regarding its All-Star Game, slated to take place in North Carolina, where a recent RFRA-style bill, HB2, has received the ire of civil rights activists.