The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament committee said Albany would play Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium Nov. 12, but New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order banning non-essential travel to North Carolina because of the law, which limits protections for LGBTQ people.
Because Albany is part of the State University of New York system, it cannot play at Duke in November, so the tournament committee is working to fill the spot, Steve Wiseman of the Durham Herald-Sun reported Wednesday. Marist, Albany, Brown and Grand Canyon—which will face the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Duke's season opener Nov. 11—are the four teams in the tournament field that could play the Blue Devils.
“It’s an embarrassing bill,” Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski told USA TODAY Sports. “That’s all I’m going to say about it.”
The tournament will conclude with Duke playing Penn State and Cincinnati facing Rhode Island in the semifinals Nov. 19 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The winners of the two meetings will play in the championship Nov. 20.
Basketball is not the only sport being affected by the travel ban.
Duke's field hockey team was slated to play Albany in the fall—the Great Danes were also supposed to play North Carolina—so the Blue Devils will face the Tar Heels twice in the regular season after scrimmaging them in August.
Duke athletic director Kevin White also expressed frustration with the bill when he spoke to ESPN last week.
"It's most unfortunate. As an institution, if not personally, we have gone on the record indicating that our state position on this [HB2] is very troubling, if not embarrassing," White said.
Passed last March, HB2 overturned a Charlotte ordinance that included anti-discrimination provisions for LGBTQ customers at private businesses and allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they identified with. The bill revoked that ordinance, restricted bathroom use to a person’s “biological sex” and banned local governments from creating their own anti-discrimination policies.
Cuomo's executive order is not the only backlash to the bill, as several businesses cancelled plans to move to North Carolina and the NBA is reconsidering having the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte.
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