LGBT law causes Cats to cancel game

Due to North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law, on Aug. 24, the UVM athletic department announced the cancellation of the women’s basketball team’s game in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The law “prevents transgender people from using government-run bathrooms based on their gender identity,” Athletic Director Jeff Schulman said.

The game was scheduled to take place Dec. 28 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The cancellation of a UVM sporting event in this manner has never happened before, according to Schulman.

“I believe that this is the first time we have cancelled a game because of a philosophical difference,” he said.

“What I hope people recognize is that we respect that this is a difficult societal issue, but this decision was much more about our values as an institution and athletic department.”

UVM is not the only institution to adjust their schedule because of opposition to the law.

In late July, the National Basketball Association moved their 2017 all-star game out of Charlotte on similar grounds, according to USA Today. The game was relocated to New Orleans instead.

The University at Albany has canceled their men’s basketball game against Duke University while the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Atlantic Coast Conference are both re-evaluating using North Carolina as a championship site, Schulman said.

UVM’s decision to cancel the game was made with the input of several groups of people.

“This decision was made in consultation with our coaches, the women’s basketball team and key University officials,” Schulman said.

First-year students Megan Fariel and Emma Tichner were both in agreement with the school’s decision to cancel the game.

“I totally support it,” Fariel said.

“It’s disappointing for the team, obviously, but it’s important to use leverage to pressure legislators to change their minds.”

Tichner agreed, and said, “Even something small like that can really change people’s perspectives.”

Due to the game’s cancellation, the team will now have a 10 day break between their Dec. 20 and Dec. 30 games, according to UVM athletics.

On Dec. 20, the Cats will take on Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan before traveling to Washington D.C. to play against Howard University Dec. 30.

The team’s first game will take place Nov. 5 at Patrick Gymnasium against St. Michael’s College.