|A scene from the 2015 ACC Baseball Championship in Durham. | Photo: Chris White|
I'll make this short and sweet.
I find it difficult to figure out the purpose of House Bill 2 (HB2 as it's most commonly referred to), a bill that was hastily passed through the North Carolina General Assembly and subsequently signed into law several months ago, other than to encourage discrimination. HB2 has been met with understandable criticism, prompting several entities to release statements - mostly in opposition - and others pulling events out the state altogether. The latest fallout from this "law" hit me on a more personal level.
As you probably recall, I worked for the Durham Bulls Baseball Club this season. That included working the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Baseball Championship, which was held at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in May. Along with working for the Bulls organization, working the ACC Baseball Championship offered an amazing opportunity to me. On Wednesday, however, ACC officials announced that all conference-affiliated, neutral site athletic championships scheduled to take place in North Carolina during the 2016-17 season were being moved from the state due to HB2. That included the 2017 ACC Baseball Championship in Durham.
I finished my tenure with the Bulls this season. However, if I were to work for the organization and the ACC Baseball Championship next season, the championship not being in North Carolina would cost me personally. I'm not talking just about financial loss. I'm talking about loss of a valuable opportunity to get much sought after experience in my field as well as a chance to network with industry professionals. I loved my job with the Bulls organization but working the ACC Championship was a truly unique experience, since I was able to venture outside of my usual duties and work in the club level surrounded by members of the media, college dignitaries, you name it. I've been to several events like this as a spectator but it was amazing to experience it in my role as a member of the Bulls staff - behind the scenes, if you will. HB2 has taken that opportunity away. And for what? This "law" is, in my view, unenforceable and is a product of manufactured fear. Plain and simple.
HB2 has affected this state and its citizens on many levels. It's time for our leaders to wake the heck up and realize this.