The NCAA board of governors adopted a new rule that all sites hosting or bidding on NCAA events that will require them to “demonstrate how they will provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination, plus safeguards the dignity of everyone involved in the event,” it was announced Wednesday.
The decision “follows the recent actions of legislatures in several states, which have passed laws allowing residents to refuse or provide services to some people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity,” the NCAA’s release reads.
The new criteria is expected to be fully implemented during the current bidding process, the NCAA said.
North Carolina and Mississippi recently passed laws that have rolled back protections of the LBGT community. NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently threatened to move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte if the law does not change in North Carolina.
The NCAA had already barred sites that display the Confederate flag and from members hosting championship events that use “abusive and offensive” Native American imagery or nicknames.
“The higher education community is a diverse mix of people from different racial, ethnic, religious and sexual orientation backgrounds,” said Kirk Schulz, president of Kansas State University and chair of the Board of Governors, said in a statement. “So it is important that we assure that community – including our student-athletes and fans – will always enjoy the experience of competing and watching at NCAA championships without concerns of discrimination.”
The NCAA “considers the promotion of inclusiveness in race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity as a vital element to protecting the well-being of student-athletes, promoting diversity in hiring practices and creating a culture of fairness.”