Boycott the NCAA

The NCAA has pulled seven championship events from North Carolina because it objects to the state’s law on use by transgender persons of public restrooms. Most of the championship events are not very important except to the participants and their families and friends. But the events include two rounds of the men’s basketball tournament (the round of 64 and the round of 32). That’s a big deal.

I’m disgusted by this decision. Not because I support the North Carolina law. I have no position on which public restrooms this tiny group should be allowed to use.

I’m disgusted because I hate seeing sports bureaucracies try to influence public policy on issues that have nothing to do with sports. It’s particularly obnoxious to see a hypocritical and severely flawed operation like the NCAA attempting this.

If the NCAA wants to get involved in North Carolina, it should punish the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for providing many of its athletes with a sham education. This scandal broke years ago but the NCAA has yet to take punitive action and doesn’t appear very serious about meaningfully doing so. Instead, it punishes North Carolina residents and businesses for democratically made political decisions unrelated to sports.

A spokesperson for the North Carolina Republican party issued this response to the NCAA’s decision:

This is 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. 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. If you are unwilling to have women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, how do you have a women’s team?

I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor. Perhaps the NCAA should stop with their political peacocking—and instead focus their energies on making sure our nation’s collegiate athletes are safe, both on and off the field.

I’m not sure this response fully passes muster as a matter of logic, but I agree with its spirit.

I’ve been watching the NCAA basketball tournament since 1963 when I saw Loyola of Chicago upset Cincinnati in the final in overtime. Haven’t missed a year or a final since.

I won’t be watching this year. If big-time athletics is going to punish states and localities for conservative public policy, the proper response for conservatives is to punish big-time athletics as best we can.

Otherwise, there’s likely to be no end to the intervention by left-wing sports executives in our politics — or as David French puts it, to the left’s weaponizing of sports. Once these folks start wielding effective power in the name of “social justice,” they won’t stop.

I know first-hand about addiction to sports viewing. However, I urge the sports fans among our readers to boycott, at a minimum, the games in the first two rounds that would have been played in North Carolina.

Here are the men’s basketball tournament games that were played in North Carolina last year in the first two rounds:

North Carolina vs. Florida Gulf Coast
USC vs. Providence
Indiana vs. Chattanooga
Kentucky vs. Stony Brook

North Carolina vs. Providence
Indiana vs. Kentucky

Be honest. How many of these games would you have watched if it weren’t for force of habit and/or brackets you filled out?

For me the answer is one: Indiana vs. Kentucky. But keep in mind that last year’s Kentucky team was nothing like the usual powerhouses John Calipari fields. I could have passed on this game without any real sense of loss.

David French asks, “Will our elected representatives stand aside and allow unelected college presidents to wield the progressive hammer?” Over time, I fear the answer is yes.

It will be up to conservative sports fans to stand up to the attempts of college presidents, television sports executives, and sports commissioners to impose liberal agenda items on states and localities. When they do, let’s boycott their product.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure we are up to the job, either.

NOTE: Apologies to Kentucky fans for somehow getting the first name of their coach wrong in the original post.

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