Franklin Graham said he is “saddened” and “outraged” after the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) voted to move the December Athletic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship football game out of Charlotte, North Carolina.
The NCAA vote comes in reaction to the state’s law saying that it is illegal for anyone in the state to use a public restroom that does not match the gender they were assigned at birth.
“As a lifelong resident of North Carolina and current CEO and president of two organizations employing nearly 1,500 North Carolinians, I am saddened—even outraged—by the vote of the ACC Council of Presidents to move conference championships from our state in protest of legislation requiring people to use public bathrooms that correspond with their birth gender,” Graham said in a statement.
He added that the ACC was acting hypocritical in its decision.
“For example, the football championship game your conference voted to move from Charlotte in December is called the ‘Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship,’ he said.
“Dr. Pepper and its parent company, Cadbury Schweppes and Carlyle Group, proudly sell their products in countries where homosexuality is illegal. Will the ACC drop its title sponsor? And why isn’t the LGBT community demanding you sever ties with such a ‘bigoted’ corporate sponsor?”
In total, seven championship sporting events will be pulled out of North Carolina.
“Please don’t make political pawns of student-athletes who just want to play football or basketball in North Carolina, and don’t continue to offend millions of Americans who endorse thousands of years of gender-specific bathrooms while you continue to accept corporate sponsorship money from companies proudly conducting their business in countries that discriminate against homosexuals to the point of death,” Graham said.
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Publication date: September 16, 2016