The NFL, which just held Super Bowl LI in Houston, is warning that a "bathroom bill" targeting transgender individuals could jeopardize future events in Texas. Senate Bill 6 would require transgender people to use restrooms based on their “biological sex” in government buildings, schools and universities.
"The NFL embraces inclusiveness," league spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "We want all fans to feel welcomed at our events, and NFL policies prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard." Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in response that the NFL should govern football, not politics in an interview on "America's Newsroom."
Just a week after Houston hosted Super Bowl LI, the League suggested that if the Lone Star State legislature passes a proposed bill requiring people to use the bathroom, locker room or shower rooms and changing room assigned to their biological gender, Texas may forfeit high-profile sports events in the future. Why? Because gay rights groups consider the law tantamount to legalized discrimination against trans-gender people.
The NFL’s threat is similar to one issued by the National Basketball Association and the NCAA, the governing body for collegiate sports, against North Carolina, which has already enacted a similar law.
Earlier this week, Bellwether looked at the nasty standoff between North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature and opponents of the law. The NBA moved this year’s All-Star game, slated for Charlotte, to New Orleans, as punishment for North Carolina’s so-called bathroom bill. And the NCAA has threatened to shut the Tar Heel state out of future sports events unless the law, officially known as HR2, is repealed.
North Carolina isn’t backing down, and Texas probably won’t, either, when its bill comes up for a vote next month.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott thinks the NFL is sticking its nose into an area where it doesn’t belong. “The NFL has its own problems,” Abbott told Bill Hemmer on Fox News Channel. “The NFL coddled players who refused to stand for the National Anthem. The NFL has its own problems with regards to violence against women. The last thing the NFL needs to do is tell states how to operate.”