Now that the entire NFL is safely out of Texas, the league has flexed a bit of muscle in hopes of influencing a proposed “bathroom bill” like North Carolina’s HB2 — which cost Charlotte the NBA’s 2017 All-Star Game.
According to Ileana Najarro of the Houston Chronicle, the NFL put out a statement which makes a thinly veiled threat to prevent future events like the Super Bowl that just left their state.
“The NFL embraces inclusiveness,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “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.”
North Carolina didn’t really have any league events to threaten, other than an owner’s meeting at a suburban Charlotte resort last spring. That gave a few owners a chance to make appropriately concerned remarks, with 49ers owner Jed York calling for the state to overturn the law (it has not).
And with the next three Super Bowls promised out to Minneapolis, Atlanta and Miami, it would be years before a bid would be impacted. But with the NFL Draft becoming a traveling circus, that’s suddenly in play, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has mentioned bringing it to Dallas.
The NCAA also pulled seven championships out of North Carolina after their bill which limited the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents. But so far, only the NFL has weighed in on the Texas proposal.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (not that one) has forwarded a similar proposal called Senate Bill 6, with 15 Republican state senators supporting a law which would ban cities from requiring private businesses to allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom of their choice. It would also prohibit transgender individuals from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity in public schools and government facilities.