NFL warns Texas could lose future Super Bowls if it passes anti-LGBT ‘bathroom bill’
The NFL has warned that Texas could potentially lose the chance to host future Super Bowls
The bill, which has drawn massive controversy for state Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick who proposed it, would ban transgender people from using bathrooms other than that which corresponds to their birth certificate.
Now the NFL has responded to the bill, suggesting that the bill is “discriminatory or inconsistent with our values”, and that it could cost the state the chance to host upcoming Super Bowls.
The revelation was made in an email by NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy to the Houston Chronicle.
It reads: “The NFL embraces inclusiveness… 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.”
Houston hosted this year’s Super Bowl last Sunday.
The legislation is similar to HB2, introduced in North Carolina last year which has lost the state a raft of high profile and collegiate sporting events.
State Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick earlier this year said moves to introduce such a bill as has proven catastrophic to states like North Carolina, would be a priority in the new legislative session.
The bill, a version of which has caused North Carolina to lose business, sporting events and music events, would stop transgender Texans from using any bathroom which does not correspond to the gender stated on their birth certificate.
Since, the Texas Association of Business (TAB) had published a study estimating roughly the state losses at between $1 and 8 billion.
Patrick has since come out swinging, saying: “I hope all the media sources who printed that bogus TAB report will at least do a story now that TAB report has been shown not to be valid.”
But the TAB stood by the study, releasing a statement saying: “We don’t need studies alone to prove the negative impact of this unnecessary legislation. The hard data exists in real time and in dramatically quantifiable ways when you look at North Carolina and Indiana today.”
Adding: “This represents the tip of the iceberg for Texas, and we must avoid this collision course by rejecting discriminatory legislation.”
Despite being called a priority by Patrick, the bill could threaten to split the Republican party, which controls the three branches of Government in Texas.
House Speaker Joe Straus has cast doubt on the measure, saying it could be “bad for business”.
“I think we should be very careful about doing something that can make Texas less competitive,” he told the Texas Association of Business.
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North Carolina, which at the end of December failed to repeal HB2, lost out on the All Star NBA game for 2017, lost the NCAA regional games out of the state, and performances from Bruce Springsteen and other high profile musicians cancelled North Carolina performances.
It has been estimated by Forbes that NC lost $600 million over six months because of its controversial legislation.
“Legislation to protect women’s privacy and business is essential to assure that sexual predators … will not be able to freely enter women’s restrooms, locker rooms or showers …,” a note from Patrick, applauding efforts to derail the repeal of HB2 read.
“The message from the Texas business community is loud and clear,” Chris Wallace, the TAB’s president said at the press conference in December.
“Protecting Texas from billions of dollars in losses is simple: Don’t pass unnecessary laws that discriminate against Texans and our visitors.”
Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott has not taken a side on the topic, and has not indicated whether he would sign a bill if it came to his desk.