Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is in the process of deciding whether to sign a law that its supporters call a “religious liberty” bill but which opponents point out would legalize anti-gay discrimination in the state. The NFL is letting the governor know that if he signs the bill, it could jeopardize Atlanta’s chances of hosting the Super Bowl.
Although Atlanta is widely expected to get the Super Bowl in either 2019 or 2020 after taxpayers agreed to finance the Falcons’ new stadium, the league released a statement on Friday saying it will review the law in conjunction with determining whether the Falcons get the game.
“NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard,” the league’s statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said. “Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites.”
Two years ago the governor of Arizona vetoed a similar bill because the NFL said the state could lose the Super Bowl.