Earlier today, the NBA and the Pacers addressed the controversial new Indiana law that potentially permits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation under the guise of religious freedom. Coincidentally (or otherwise), the NFL and the Colts have now done so, too.
“The Colts have always embraced inclusiveness, tolerance, and a diverse fan base,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said on Twitter. “We welcome ALL fans to Colts Nation. ONE FAMILY!”
“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 continuing to analyze the implications of the law.”
If that sounds familiar, it should. It tracks the language of the statement issued last year as Arizona was considering the passage of a similar law.
“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 at the time.
While both the Colts and the NFL have made it clear that they oppose discrimination of any kind, neither the team nor the league have indicated whether and to what extent they’ll push back against the Indiana law. With the Scouting Combine an annual fixture in Indianapolis and the city handling the Super Bowl so well that it could return, the Colts and the league have leverage to force the kind of change that will honor the concepts articulated above.