A proposed “bathroom bill” in Texas that would target transgender individuals could potentially jeopardize future Super Bowls or NFL events from being awarded to the state if it became law.
“The NFL embraces inclusiveness,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement in response to a question about the proposed legislation. “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.
“If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events.”
Under Texas Senate Bill 6, people would be required to use bathrooms that correspond with the gender listed on their birth certificates. The bill is similar to a law that was enacted in North Carolina last year.
The NFL just wrapped up Super Bowl LI in Houston on Sunday, and the locations of the next four Super Bowls have already been awarded (Minneapolis, Atlanta, South Florida, Los Angeles). Texas has hosted three Super Bowls since 2004.
Shortly after the NFL’s statement was released, a spokesman with Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick’s office told the Associated Press that the proposed bill doesn’t conflict with the league’s statement.
“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 Senate Bill 6,” Patrick spokesman Alejandro Garcia said.