Texas Governor Greg Abbott is furious with the NFL for threatening to exclude the Lone Star State from future Super Bowls if it passes its proposed “bathroom bill.”
The bill, dubbed the “Texas Privacy Act,” would require men and women to use public bathrooms based on the gender listed on their birth certificates. This can be uncomfortable for transgender individuals.
North Carolina passed a similar bill last March, after which both the NBA and NCAA relocated big games to other states. The NFL has had a similar response to the Texas bill.
Just days after the Patriots’ dramatic Super Bowl victory in Houston, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told a local newspaper that the proposed bathroom bill is “inconsistent with our values.” He called the bill “discriminatory” and implied that the NFL would not use Texas as a future Super Bowl destination if the bill becomes law.
The state’s Republican Governor Greg Abbott responded to McCarthy’s comments with a sarcastic Twitter message:
“NFL decision makers also benched Tom Brady last season. It ended with NFL handing the Super Bowl trophy to Brady.”
Abbott advised the NFL to “concentrate on playing football and get the heck out of politics,” during a recent interview with radio host Glenn Beck. “For some low-level NFL adviser to come out and say that they are going to micromanage and try to dictate to the state of Texas what types of policies we’re going to pass in our state, that’s unacceptable.”
The bathroom bill situation will likely blow over, even if the bill is passed. I’m not entirely sure how such a law would be enforced, considering people don’t typically carry their birth certificates with them, but I agree with Abbott that sports organizations have no reason to get involved with states’ policy decisions.
“We don’t care what the NFL thinks and certainly what their political policies are – because they are not a political arm of the state of Texas or the United States of America,” said Abbott.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick reminds us that every Texan will be welcome at future sporting events. “Despite persistent misinformation in the media, under Senate Bill 6, all Texas teams will be able to set their own policies at the stadiums and arenas where they play and hold their events. There is no conflict with the NFL’s statement today and our bill.”
Meanwhile, the NFL has already picked locations for the next four Super Bowls. None of them are in Texas.
Dallas hosted Super Bowl XLV in 2011, and Texas comes in fourth place behind Florida, California, and Louisiana as the state to host the most Super Bowls.