Rhode Island's NCAA pitch touts historic inclusivity

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Rhode Island is touting its centuries-old history of inclusivity in its bid to replace North Carolina as a host of college basketball tournaments next year.

Gov. Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, both Democrats, have sent letters to the National Collegiate Athletic Association pitching Providence as a venue for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Championship.

The NCAA announced in September that it's pulling championship events out of North Carolina because of a state law that can allow discrimination against LGBT people.

Raimondo's letter notes Providence's relationship with the NCAA. The city hosted the first portion of this year's men's basketball tournament in March.

She also emphasizes a tradition of acceptance and personal and religious freedom rooted in Rhode Island's founding in 1636.

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