Franklin Graham denounces ACC, NCAA for pulling out of North Carolina over transgender bathroom policies

Evangelist Franklin Graham wrote a letter to the commissioner of the Athletic Coast Conference (ACC) to denounce its move to pull its championship games out of North Carolina because of the state's stance on sex-segregated bathrooms.

Carter-Finley Stadium, home of NC State Wolfpack football team. | Wikimedia Commons/Mark Haynes

The ACC announced on Wednesday that the 10 college sports championship will be moved from North Carolina as a protest against the restriction on LGBT people. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) also made an announcement earlier to pull out seven championship events from the state.

In an open letter to ACC commissioner John Swofford, Graham labeled the move of the two sporting organizations as "profound hypocrisy." The evangelist pointed out that ACC sponsors are conducting businesses in countries where homosexuality is illegal.

Graham noted that one of the events that were relocated was called "Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship."

"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?" Graham wrote. He asked, "And why isn't the LGBT community demanding you sever ties with such a "bigoted" corporate sponsor?"

Graham pointed out that the NCAA is also implementing rules that are discriminatory towards transgender people. He cited the policy of the NCAA that requires transgender athletes to participate in sports activities according to the gender of their birth.

The policy states, "Any transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate in sex-separated sports activities in accordance with his or her assigned birth gender."

On his Facebook page, the evangelist called on state residents to write emails expressing their support for NC Gov. Pat McCrory, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and the state legislators.

"Let Gov. McCrory and the state legislators hear your support. Don't let them be forced into repealing HB2," Graham wrote.

House Bill 2 or HB2, overturns the ordinance that allows people to use bathrooms or locker rooms according to the gender they identify with instead of the gender of their birth.