The National Football League has said that if Texas were to pass an anti-trans bathroom bill, it would not consider the state for another Super Bowl.
The question was posed to the NFL in light of the recently proposed Senate Bill 6, which like North Carolina’s HB2, would bar transgender people from using the restrooms that best align with their gender identity.
“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,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said in a statement. “If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events.”
Having just hosted Super Bowl LI, it’s unlikely that Texas will be asked to hold the game again anytime soon, but the statement is still a serious warning to the football-loving Lone Star State.
SB6 is sponsored by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst in conjunction with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who’s said that passing anti-trans bathroom legislation is one of his top priorities for 2017.
“Despite persistent misinformation in the media, under Senate Bill 6, all Texas teams will be able to set their own policies at the stadiums and arenas where they play and hold their events,” explained Patrick in defense of his bill. “There is no conflict with the NFL’s statement today and Senate Bill 6.”
“I completely share the sentiments of the NFL,” Kolkhorst added. “That’s why the Texas Privacy Act ensures that our state continues the same welcoming environment we all enjoy at NFL events.”
The move from the NFL mirrors one made by the NBA last year to pull its All-Star Game from Charlotte in response to HB2.
“It uses the guise of bathroom concerns to deny certain rights to gay and transgender people and effectively green lights discrimination towards them,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said of HB2 at the time. “What does that have to do with sports? Not a lot—only that many of our top sports officials have so far turned a blind eye when taking action could mean a lot.”
The decision cost North Carolina millions of dollars and inspired countless boycotts against the state, undoubtedly foreshadowing Texas’ own fate if it were to pass SB6.
h/t: MSN Sports