MLB issues strong statement regarding proposed Arizona anti-gay law

Like every other political measure or issue or topic for debate, Arizona Senate Bill 1062 has two sides.  One side sees it as permitting blatant and rampant discrimination against gays.  The other side regards it as promoting religious freedom by allowing business owners to not do business with those whose lifestyles conflict with the business owners’ beliefs.

The NFL’s statement on the topic strongly suggests that pro football views it as an anti-gay law.  Major League Baseball has issued an even stronger indictment:

“As the sport of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball and its 30 Clubs stand united behind the principles of respect, inclusion, and acceptance.  Those values are fundamental to our game’s diverse players, employees, and fans.  We welcome individuals of different sexual orientations, races, religions, genders, and national origins.

“MLB has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation, as reflected by our collective bargaining agreement with the MLB Players Association.  Accordingly, MLB will neither support nor tolerate any words, attitudes or actions that imperil the inclusive communities that we have strived to foster within our game.”

The NFL remains tight lipped regarding the question of whether Super Bowl XLIX would be moved out of Arizona if the bill isn’t vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer.  In 1990, the NFL moved the 1993 Super Bowl to Los Angeles after Arizona refused to make Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a holiday.

This time around, it could be difficult to accomplish in less than one year the various tasks that go along with staging a Super Bowl, including booking a convention center to house Radio Row and all associated press conferences and reserving thousands of hotel rooms for the teams, league officials, media, and fans.  Also, detailed security plans and protocols would have to be prepared and implemented on an expedited basis.

The other finalists for Super Bowl XLIX were Tampa and Miami.  It could make sense for either or both of those now-defunct host committees to take their proposals out of mothballs.