Diary

The ACC is NOT the Boss of Me!

You know, I try every week to bring you to laughter-induced tears.  But, no matter how hard I try to stay focused on the hilarious, sometimes affairs of the world intrude to a ridiculous-enough degree that I cannot, by any reasonable measure, ignore them.  I must react…especially when it concerns events in my own state.  And, this week I am royally p—— off.

So, let’s talk about bullies.  There are lots of them out there.  I’m not referring to the typical bully in the schoolyard this time, although there are a lot of those…both young and old, if you catch my drift.

I’m referring, instead, to the folks who’ve made a decision either to stop their plans to build or bring businesses to North Caroline, or who have decided not to perform concerts here, etc., in protest of NC legislation that requires individuals to use the public bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificates. 

And, I’m referring specifically to the Atlantic Coast Conference, which presidential board has voted to move the Dr. Pepper ACC Championship football game from Charlotte, saying “The ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and the opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount.  Today’s decision is one of principle.”

No, Commissioner Swofford, this decision was not “one of principle”.  This decision was one of intimidation.  You are trying – just as those who have cancelled or changed plans for businesses or entertainment – to bully us here in NC.  You are literally trying to force us to change our state laws because we’re scared you all won’t “like” us. 

Well, here’s a “core value” for you:  we don’t give a rat’s ass if you like us!  We – that is, a majority of North Carolinians – have seen fit to make a law that protects our sons and daughters in public restrooms, which we deem a zillion times more important than watching Bruce Springsteen gyrate and scream (isn’t he like 103 now?) or being able to see a football – or basketball – game played in our state to determine the champion of a conference filled with politically correct but morally bereft men and women.

As Pastor Franklin Graham – a revered resident of NC – suggested in a recent letter to you, Mr. Swofford, your attempt to pass this decision off as one of principle is laughable.  The Dr. Pepper ACC 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?” he asked.  And, it’s a good question, Commissioner Swofford.  Will your Council of Hypocrites vote to drop Dr. Pepper and its associates?  We’re waiting with baited breath. 

The ACC also features Toyota on its website as an “Official Corporate Champion”, while Toyota does business in some countries where homosexuality is punishable by death.  As in DEAD.  Are you hearing this, Mr. Swofford?  Are you morally outraged?  Do you or your loved ones drive Toyotas?  Where is all the courageous principle now?  Will you wipe Toyota from your website?  I’ll pay 2-1 odds you won’t. 

Why?  Because that means losing money, doesn’t it, and it’s all about the bottom line, right?  I mean, it costs these big entertainers and ACC schools nothing to proudly bully, intimidate and attempt to coerce North Carolina (plus, you get great publicity when you strut your fake righteousness before the bleating advocacy groups and their panting media puppies), but to lose big money?  Now, let’s not get carried away.

Many of you bullies like to say, well, we may be able to affect change in our own country, but we can’t change the policies in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan or Egypt, it’s none of our business, so bring on the Dr. Pepper!  But, aren’t principles still principles wherever you are?  Do the “core values” you referenced disappear at the edge of the sea?

I am proud of my state.  Moved here in 1989 from Ohio, Big 10 country, a huge Buckeye.  But, I came to love the Tarheels, and embraced the ACC.  With this disgusting, childish, pompous and offensive decision, though, I am through with this conference.  Many of us are.  I still love my Tarheels and will continue to watch them – we all realize the players in this conference didn’t have a say in this disgraceful maneuver – but I won’t watch any other ACC games. 

Shame on you, Commissioner Swofford.  Shame on all of you, from businessmen to entertainers,   For allowing yourself to be bullied by these clamoring interest groups…and then turning around and pandering to them by bullying us.  We won’t be bullied. Our principles are intact.  Our core values are unambiguous.  We’ll make our own laws, thank you. 

And, you can move your championship game wherever you want…hey, why not find a nice stadium in Pakistan?