NFL Warns Texas Lawmakers About Anti-LGBT Legislation

By Adam Polaski • February 10, 2017 • 12:47 pm

It’s been less than a week since Houston hosted a historic Super Bowl, but the NFL already is warning lawmakers in Texas that anti-LGBT legislation like SB 6 – which restricts restroom access for transgender Texans and forbids local non-discrimination ordinances protecting LGBT people – could imperil a future return to the Lone Star State. In a statement provided to The Houston Chronicle, the NFL said that discriminatory legislative proposals factor into the decision-making around awarding future host cities:

“If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law (in Texas), that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events….The NFL embraces inclusiveness….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.”

According to early estimates, last week’s Super Bowl LI brought $350 million into Houston.

Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe said today:

“Sporting leagues promptly moved major events out of North Carolina after HB 2 became law, and it’s increasingly clear that officials are prepared to take the same action in Texas. Losing a major sporting event like a Super Bowl or an All-Star Game is extremely detrimental to any state’s reputation – it will hurt local economies and damage countless small businesses. But Texas lawmakers have a chance to avoid that damage. Over just the last week, we’ve heard law enforcement, business owners, and now sports leagues all speak out against discriminatory proposals. Lawmakers in Austin should heed these warnings and abandon the anti-business, unnecessary SB 6.”

The NCAA also referred The Houston Chronicle to the league’s actions in North Carolina, where they pulled seven championship games last year, when asked about SB 6. That’s particularly relevant for San Antonio – the city is poised to host the NCAA Men’s Final Four at the Alamodome next year. If all goes according to plan, the Final Four is expected to bring more than 71,000 visitors and $135 million into San Antonio.

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