NFL not commenting on controversial new Indiana law

Last year, as Arizona was closing in on passing a religious freedom law that would have allowed business owners to deny service on the basis of sexual orientation that conflicted with the religious beliefs of said business owners, the NFL expressed concern about the situation.

“Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard,” the NFL said in a statement.  “We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”

At that time, the league also declined to comment on whether an alternate site was identified for Super Bowl XLIX.

Fast forward to 2015, and Indiana has passed the law that Arizona didn’t.  So will it jeopardize the ability of Indianapolis to host future league-presented events like the Super Bowl and the annual Scouting Combine?

That’s unknown, because unlike 2014 when Arizona was merely considering passing the law, the NFL has no comment this time around.

Presumably, the principles expressed by the NFL a year ago still apply.  The NFL nevertheless has opted not to reiterate those principles as it relates to Indiana.

The NCAA, which will be staging the Final Four in Indianapolis in less than two weeks, has opted for something other than silence, saying via CNN that governing body for college athletics is “committed to an inclusive environment where all individuals enjoy equal access to events.”

89 responses to “NFL not commenting on controversial new Indiana law

  1. Maybe the NFL/government should take the team away from Indiana and move them to California. Is tolerance a one way street?

  2. The majority here in Indiana are pretty outraged at this. Governor Pence is a fool who doesn’t care to hear how many people are outraged by this. Way to go guys, setting back our state damn near a hundred years.

  3. All it takes is a U.S. District judge to overturn the law on the basis that it violates the state constitution. If that can’t be done, federal courts step in. If that fails, this is one of those cases that will be heard by the Supreme Court.

    I’m not worried.

  4. If a business didn’t want your money, why would you sue them to make them take it? There plenty of other businesses that don’t care and would happily take your money.
    So it’s illegal for the Government to force you to follow someone’s religious beliefs, but it okay for the Government to force you to follow someone’s non-religious beliefs? How is that fair?

  5. If the NFL truly is tolerant and inclusive they won’t discriminate against religious beliefs. There is a conflict. You have to either discriminate or allow others to freely practice their beliefs, as the US constitution DEMANDS.

  6. So they want to be ‘tolerant’ and ‘inclusive’ of those who agree with them but intolerant and exclusive of those with whom they disagree?

  7. I personally don’t like the law but the problem is not that the NFL hasn’t commented on this law the problem is that they did comment on it last year. . It’s none of their business.

  8. I have no issue with gay people or anything else but I’m firmly behind anything that says the government can’t tell you what to do.

    I think freedom trumps everything. Let the public’s reaction do harm to their business. It doesn’t have to be big brother watching over us all the time.

  9. The PEOPLE of Indiana, for the most part, wanted no part of this bill. It was forced through by lawmakers who are ignoring their constituents. We’ll fix that in the next election. Please don’t judge our whole state and its people by a bunch of moronic lawmakers who are operating according to their own agenda, not what we want.

  10. 2manyconcussions said: “The NFL should stay out of this fight.”

    Amen to that. This isn’t the NFL’s fight. Stay out of it.

  11. It is a Stupid law ,BUT, now the NFL wants to control State Voters rights, whats next having web cams in Viewers homes to see if the NFL Deems them worthy to watch???

  12. This does not ban or necessarily even change anything as far as the NFL or NCAA is concerned. Does anyone really think Lucas Oil Stadium (or any other major venue) would turn away gay patrons on religious grounds? Seriously, let’s all tap the brakes for a second.

    Let’s use a nationally known example: If a small bakery exercises their federally and most likely state protected right to religious freedom and chooses not to bake a cake for someone based on a religious conviction…ANY religious conviction this law now adds a second, albeit unnecessary protection for them.

    Most private businesses reserve the right to deny service to anyone for any reason. The fact that this is an issue says so much to me about how thin-skinned the people in this country have become. Instead of taking their business to another small business who may appreciate you and your money, we now force ourselves on people who we disagree with and shut them down. For an issue that people say is a result of intolerance, that reaction shows even more intolerance, in my mind. Support the people who support you and stay away from the ones you disagree with. Pretty simple.

  13. States rights on one side, capitalism on the other.

    government officials in the Hoosier state can pass a crank job law, fine. And, in return, the NFL can take its business elsewhere – also fine.

    Let Inianians (?) decide which they prefer – turning away gays from a hardware store, or hosting an NFL team/event in their state.

    Over to you, voters…

  14. I believe that anyone who owns a business should be able to hire and fire whoever they want for whatever reason. After all it is your business. The market will usually take care of these types of things in the long run. Example what would happen to XYZ store if they excluded GHJ Minority from being employees at first it would be ok but then ABC company would come in to include GHJ and then XYZ would be going out of business because people would not be ok with XYZ and instead shop at ABC. In other words government is just fixing the mess they made by passing these anti-discrimination laws in the first place, while they were needed at the time they surely overstepped their intended purpose and need now in 2015.

  15. I love the BS justifications about “religious beliefs.” This is no different than denying service to minorities. You have no right to religious beliefs that step on the rights of others.

  16. In a free world you should be able to do as you please a long as you don’t physically harm someone. If you don’t want to serve someone big deal, Its only feelings that are getting hurt and if you cant get over your feelings be hurt than you have bigger problems to worry about.

  17. a private business owner should be able to deny service to anyone he/she wants based on whatever reason they see fit

    they will almost certainly loose business because of it, but that’s their right as a business owner.

  18. You have to love the ability of some people to use their religious beliefs to limit other’s rights and then flip it around to play the martyr when called on it.

  19. abninf says:
    The NFL should believe in religious freedom
    _________________________________

    Religious freedom is also freedom from religion.

    Religion causes wars, just look at the middle east, they have been fighting religious wars since the time of Abraham.

    It is time for those that think they are religious to embrace everyone, regardless of their religion (or lack of it), sexual orientation, race, creed or color.

    Isn’t that what religion is supposed to be about? It is not trying to force your religion or beliefs on those that think or believe differently.

    You can be spiritual without being a religious hypocrite.

  20. It’s not your right to be able to go any where and be a patron of any business. It’s your right to be able to open your own business if you have the capacity. Go read the constitution, stop saying I have a right to this, right to that, right to not be offended.

    Now I’m done.

  21. ldbeachtecorion61 says:
    Mar 26, 2015 1:20 PM
    It is a Stupid law ,BUT, now the NFL wants to control State Voters rights, whats next having web cams in Viewers homes to see if the NFL Deems them worthy to watch???
    _______________

    Indiana can setup laws how they see fit (until they get smacked down by the SC) and the NFL (and others) can take their money and business elsewhere.

  22. At one point in time, it was a state’s rights issue whether or not black people were given service. This is no different. Hard to believe this is still happening in 2015.

  23. It’s easy to say the NFL should stay out of this fight for equal justice to all, but that’s like watching some kid getting picked on by bullies and acting like you don’t see it happening. Wrong is wrong. It 2015, not the 1950’s.

  24. The Colts nearly moved to Phoenix before being seduced by Indianapolis.

    It’s time for the NFL in Indiana experiment to be imploded.

    Give San Antonio, Portland or Toronto a call.

  25. If you are open for business to the public, you are open to the public. All of them. Your religion doesn’t entitle you to discriminate against people.

  26. “I believe that anyone who owns a business should be able to hire and fire whoever they want for whatever reason. ”

    Cause that worked so well in the past.

  27. I believe in the Fourth Amendment which guarantees equal rights under the law to all persons, be they white, black, green, gay, straight, or anything else. I also believe in the First Amendment which guarantees all person freedom to worship whichever religion they choose, or none at all.

    Constitutional rights like these are often in conflict. The courts must weigh these rights in a particular case. Religious freedom does not allow a business otherwise open to the public from denying service to people of color, nor should it allow refusal to serve gay persons, in my opinion. However, the courts will decide that.

    If the courts decide that such discrimination is allowed under the guise of religious freedom, then I think another law should be passed – one that forces all businesses who wish to discriminate to post in giant letters at least as big as the letters in their business name that:

    WE DISCRIMINATE AGAINST GAYS AND LESBIANS. WE DO NOT WANT YOUR MONEY.

    This way, people who believe in equal rights, whether gay or not, can spent their money elsewhere. Also, we can determine who makes or supplies the goods in those stores and boycott them, too.

  28. I agree that a business owner should be free to serve who they want.

    As an example, we have a law here that bans smoking in all restaurants, among other places.

    If a business owner wants his restaurant to allow smoking, why can’t non smokers go to another restaurant?

    By the way, I’m a non smoker.

  29. It’s a free country… a business owner has EVERY RIGHT to serve to whom he/she wants to serve.

    It’s a right of EVERY AMERICAN to start a business and serve to whom they want. PERIOD.

    Understand?

  30. So the NFL is going to stick its head into something that has NOTHING to do with football yet, they are going to go all uppity when congress jumps into their business.

  31. If you want to tell certain people they can’t shop at your store, good luck staying profitable enough to stay in business after the media gets wind of it.

  32. I haven’t seen all the specifics but I can’t see anything wrong with the principle. It happens all the time but people only complain about the times when a group they identify with or like are the ones being “discriminated against”.

    This stuff happens every day in one form or another in business and in government. Government people would scream about an exclusive white establishment yet having a Congressional Black Caucus is fine. Age discrimination is attacked yet there are communities all over this country that have minimum age requirements in order to live there.

    Either remove all demographic segregation or allow it. Picking and choosing what is acceptable just encourages more strife aand makes you seem like you you think you are superior

  33. According to the logic of some, then any business should be able to sell liquor or any kind of drug to whoever it wants, deny service of any kind based on race or handicap, or has prostitution services advertised, etc. I mean after all it’s a free country.

    How about a private ambulance service. Maybe they should be allowed to show up and only then determine whether the patient “meets their religious criteria”

    Speaking of reducto absurdum.

    Geez…give your head a shake, freedom doesn’t mean that any one can do anything….even if they own a business.

  34. The NFL shouldn’t comment on it or even touch that subject it’s out of their jurisdiction. For once they’re doing something right. Also, for those comparing the struggle of gay people to the struggles of minorities during the civil rights movement, the last time I checked gays aren’t being hung in trees, jailed, beaten, or being sprayed with fire hoses. The worst thing that happens to them is if they get called a bad name. I’m not against gay rights in fact I voted for in Maryland and it got passed but don’t compare the struggle for gay rights to the civil rights movement it isn’t even close.

  35. I don’t think this law has any application to sports. Is any sporting venue or event going to patrol the turnstiles looking for people to keep out based on race, sexual orientation or religion? I think not.

    Overall, I’m guessing the law came from controversies like the bakery that wouldn’t bake a wedding cake for the same-sex couple on religious grounds, and the couple went to court to force the bakery to make their cake. Isn’t it easier to just take your business to a merchant that doesn’t have exclusionary policies?

  36. peytonwantsaflag says:
    Mar 26, 2015 1:15 PM

    I personally don’t like the law but the problem is not that the NFL hasn’t commented on this law the problem is that they did comment on it last year. . It’s none of their business.

    ——————————————————–
    It is there business if they have a team in the state. The NFL as a whole collectively bargains for labor, advertising rights, etc. To build new stadiums, they have to navigate local governments & negotiate tax support. LA is the new frontier, maybe even the UK, etc. If the NFL is on the wrong side of polarizing issues, it can affect much of their progress. Not commenting, can also be just as detrimental.

  37. So basically the NFL would like to pull service to the State of Indiana, because Indiana allows businesses to choose their own customer base. So now the NFL wants to re-choose their own locations and rewards based on what the NFL doesn’t like?

    It seems like the same thing…

  38. ‘The NFL shouldn’t comment on it or even touch that subject it’s out of their jurisdiction. For once they’re doing something right. Also, for those comparing the struggle of gay people to the struggles of minorities during the civil rights movement, the last time I checked gays aren’t being hung in trees, jailed, beaten, or being sprayed with fire hoses. The worst thing that happens to them is if they get called a bad name. I’m not against gay rights in fact I voted for in Maryland and it got passed but don’t compare the struggle for gay rights to the civil rights movement it isn’t even close.’

    Really Patfan? Doctors can now refuse to violate their Hippocratic oath should they choose too and let a gay person lay sick and force them to go somewhere else. Or the local car dear can refuse to fix your car. We’re not just talking about not eating at the local restaurant. This is amoral discrimination plan and simple.

  39. thewizardofbs says:

    Isn’t that what religion is supposed to be about? It is not trying to force your religion or beliefs on those that think or believe differently.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    While that SEEMS like it should make sense, it’s actually incorrect when looking at some of the world’s major religions – forcing your beliefs on non-believers is considered major tenets of both Christianity and Islam. Sure, we can nit-pick all we want about semantics and such, but we see it everyday the Jehova’s knock on your door or another car-bomb goes off in the middle east to drive out the ‘infidels’. ‘Spreading the Good Word’ is one of those things that many interpret in ways that certainly infringe on the rights of others.

  40. I have no issue with gay people or anything else but I’m firmly behind anything that says the government can’t tell you what to do.

    I think freedom trumps everything. Let the public’s reaction do harm to their business. It doesn’t have to be big brother watching over us all the time.

    —————————

    do feel the same way about the civil rights movement?

  41. @justafan2014

    I have no problem with anyone’s religious freedoms, I just should not have to bend or change my way to fit yours and vice versa. You do what you want but and I won’t force you to change, just as you will do what you want but not force me to change.

  42. “Really Patfan? Doctors can now refuse to violate their Hippocratic oath should they choose too and let a gay person lay sick and force them to go somewhere else. Or the local car dear can refuse to fix your car. We’re not just talking about not eating at the local restaurant. This is amoral discrimination plan and simple.”

    A local car [dealer?] would have a hard time establishing that fixing a gay person’s car violates a sincerely held religious belief. That’s not how the law works. Moreover, it mirrors existing federal law. Should the NFL move all the teams to Canada? The NFL is right to stay out of this; it’s not a football issue and the quicker everyone acknowledges the fact that the NFL is a football league rather than a social justice league the better.

    Also, just curious, is NBC going to pull its Indiana affiliates?

  43. Spirituality is fine. The biggest scam ever perpetrated on the human race is organized religion. Nothing else comes close.

  44. Arizona tried to pass that because of a law suit that happened in new mexico. A photographer told a gay couple he didnt feel comfortable photographing their wedding because of his religious beliefs.
    The gay couple sued him an won. Which is crazy. Just take your business somewhere else. The business owner has the right to deny service to anyone. And why would the couple want someone to photograph their wedding knowing he didnt want to.

  45. The NFL does not need to say anything. What they do need to do is move the annual NFL Scouting Combine from Lucas Oil Stadium to a city and state that does not blatantly discriminate.

  46. And why should the NFL have any comment? Who cares, other than you guys? I watch the NFL for football, not their stance on political issues.

  47. Couldn’t agree more with Arizona and Indy. Look deeper into the issue at hand and don’t be so quick to criticize it. Political correctness is destroying this country right in front of our eyes.

  48. Obviously, the NFL is against religious freedom, human rights, the right to vote, democracy, and citizens self determination.

    How can one punish the conscience of the voters?
    It is anti-American.

  49. Naturally, no one has actually taken the time to read the law. Although I don’t post an opinion about it one way or the other, it mirrors the FEDERAL law and mirrors the 20 other states that have it….not really an outlier like everyone thinks

  50. craigissosensitive says:
    Mar 26, 2015 12:59 PM

    “State Rights”

    Were you pushing the “State Rights” principle when Reagan pushed through Executive Orders implementing a federal “War On Drugs” that to this day incarcerates young black men in highly disproportional percentages? I doubt it.

    Today, young men rot in prison for possession and/or sale of marijuana despite it being legal in a number of states for medical and/or recreational use. They also serve ridiculously long suspensions for recreational use of marijuana in the NFL.

  51. People who own business’ SHOULD be legally protected from being forced to defy their faith. And, a person who has a different belief structure has a right to receive services the same as everyone else. So, the discussion becomes a gauge of who’s rights are more trampled by allowing the protection? I would contend that the person’s with the moral conflict are more trampled, since it hasn’t been proven that there isn’t a God & there isn’t anything preventing the one’s being denied goods/services from simply getting what they want elsewhere. On the other hand, it’s not like the individual with the moral conflict can simply choose a different God…

  52. patsfan1820 says:

    the last time I checked gays aren’t being hung in trees, jailed, beaten, or being sprayed with fire hoses. The worst thing that happens to them is if they get called a bad name.

    If you’re interested in the truth, you can start by searching the name “Matthew Shepard.”
    I would imagine that there are gay people being beaten up if not killed every day in the USA, just because of their sexual orientation.
    Things are worse in most other countries of course, but that hardly means that things are A-OK here.

  53. Considering all the tax breaks the state gives to the NFL for their events, I’d say they’ll huff and they’ll puff, and they’ll be right back….until they get a better offer. Coming soon, London Draft, Combine, London Super Bowl…..

  54. patsfan1820 says:

    the last time I checked gays aren’t being hung in trees, jailed, beaten, or being sprayed with fire hoses. The worst thing that happens to them is if they get called a bad name.

    If you’re interested in checking a little further, you can begin by searching under the name “Matthew Shepard.”
    People are beaten up and/or killed here every day because of their sexual orientation. I’m amazed that anyone would not know that.

  55. If people don’t like a business that may not cater to the LGBT community, don’t go to that business. If you think you can put a business out of business for not capitulating to the progressive demands, go for it.

    I know if I do not agree with how a business operates, I do not go to that business.

    Why is it that some people believe that everyone must think the exact same way? We don’t have to agree on every issue. Somewhere in the past decade or so it has become acceptable to attack others for not agreeing. Like guilting people into thinking in a way that is considered acceptable is doing anything but making people pretend to be in compliance with the PC rules.

  56. So….. Those that don’t believe a business should be able to deny services due to their beliefs. I’m just curious. Should the govt force you to GO to a business your religious beliefs are against? Should it be mandatory that you spend $X.XX per month at a strip club? I mean some of these businesses are missing out on their right to your money. I mean, right now you have the right to not do business with them because of your beliefs, why can’t they choose to not do business with you because of theirs?

    I’m not religious at all, BUT, this hypocritical “bullying” that’s going on these days is very perplexing to me.

  57. @deltaoracle

    People are beaten up and/or killed here every day because of no good reason. I’m amazed that anyone would not know that.

    FTFY

  58. deltaoracle, if you really looked up the truth on Matthew Shepard you’d find he was killed as part of a drug deal gone bad. Had nothing to do with his sexual orientation.

  59. Whether true or not jaxcliff, it doesn’t change the fact that gays are subject to much more than “Being called bad names.”

  60. I’d like to discriminate against that bigot, Tony Dungy. He’s a religious whack job that should have spent more time with his son and less time with his mythical sky buddy.

  61. This is the NFL’s business. The NFL has gay employees who have a right to be treated with equality where ever they work. If you claim to be in favor of the free market making decisions, then you should be in favor of the NFL picking up and leaving from locations that are openly hostile to its employees and its customers.

    Lombardi set the example when he said the Green Bay Packers would always be together on the road. The Packers slept at military bases in the old red states that had legal segregation. Those Lombardi Packers endured death threats for taking that stand.

    Also – it was the NFL that used free market pressure to get Arizona to recognize MLK Day as a holiday (they were refusing).

    For those of you saying, “a private business owner should be able to deny service to anyone he/she wants based on whatever reason they see fit,” you are saying you favor legalized segregation/bigotry. You’re saying a business should be able to deny service to people based on sex, skin color, religion, blood type … you name it.

    Also, it’s hilarious and ironic when people complain that being a segregationist/bigot is a religious right that is being violated.

  62. It baffles me that people think they get a free license to discriminate against other people because they call it “religious freedom”. Replace everything single mention of “gay” with “black” and your arguing word for word against the rights of African Americans during the civil rights. The NFL should have an opinion on this, everyone should. You don’t have to listen to it but the NFL is made of people and some of those people care about a state they do business in stripping rights away from citizens

  63. This is a very intricate law that probably shouldn’t be discussed here, but let’s do it anyway. You can’t not serve someone based on sexual orientation, but this is asking someone to go against their religious beliefs, it’s pretty complicated. The constitution demands protection for both sides of this, how do you decide to protect one more than the other? In my opinion the gay couple can always find another bakery, and if the baker disapproves religiously of their marriage why would they want to patronize that baker anyways? I don’t think we need a law to say just don’t do business with each other. As far as I understand it none of the bakers refuse to serve the gay couples anything else, just the wedding cakes, so as long as that holds true I don’t see why it should be such a large issue.

  64. This issue has nothing to do with states’ rights or religious freedom, not really. Those are just pretexts people use to try to justify their bigoted opinions and actions.
    People in this country used to cite the Bible to try to justify slavery, and then later to try to justify segregation and discrimination. I see no difference here.

  65. I used to live in the Indianapolis suburbs, and it’s really an underrated city. But I am sitting here laughing at the thought of this bill. A business owner could hang a sign saying ‘no christians allowed’ in the name of “religious freedom”, and the same people backing this bill would lose their minds. The same state that offers special ‘in god we trust’ license plates for free while charging a fee for every other special plate. The Jesus freaks in that state are clearly being persecuted.

  66. Indiana was about IU basketball and the Colts. Now it’s just the Colts. What does Andrew Luck say? Time to move on Andrew, somewhere where bigotry doesn’t rule.

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