The NCAA board of governors announced new measures to protect participants from discrimination, including requiring cities bidding to host an event to demonstrate how they will provide a safe environment for everyone involved.
At its quarterly meeting in Indianapolis Wednesday, the board decided to adopt the new requirements for sites hosting on NCAA events in all divisions including the Men's and Women's Final Fours and education events such as leadership conferences.
"The higher education community is a diverse mix of people from different racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual orientation backgrounds," Kirk Shulz, president of Kansas State University and chair of the board of governors said in a statement. "So it is important that we assure that the community — including student athletes and fans — will always enjoy the experience of competing and watching at NCAA championships without concerns of discrimination."
The decision comes after laws were passed in several states allowing residents to refuse services to someone based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.
"We need to make sure our student athletes are competing in venues and competing in states that have an inclusive environment for all of our student athletes, our fans, and our coaches," Shulz said.
Wednesday's announcement is another showcase of the association's values, according to the statement, like the 2001 ban on championship events from states where governments display the Confederate flag.
"Board members feel the measure will provide assurance that anyone associated with an NCAA championship event – whether they are working, playing or cheering – will be treated with fairness and respect," the statement reads.