Texas bill could jeopardize National Football League awarding events to the state

A proposed Texas law that targets transgender people could prompt the NFL to keep future Super Bowls from Dallas and Houston if it passes, a league spokesman told the Houston Chronicle.

This year's Super Bowl was hosted in Houston - a city where voters in 2015 overwhelmingly voted down an ordinance that would have permitted restroom and locker room use on the basis of gender identity.

The NCAA hasn't commented on the Texas bill.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy put Texas on notice when he said, "The NFL embraces inclusiveness".

In January, Texas legislators released a bill stating that all citizens of the state are required to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate, similar to a bill passed in North Carolina past year and a bill filed in the Tennessee General Assembly in 2017.

But the NFL's statement threatens to bring Texas conservatives' traditional values into conflict with their love of sports, not to mention jeopardizing the financial benefits that flow from such high-profile events.

"If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law (in Texas), that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events", National Football League spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email response to the Houston Chronicle question about the bill.

It was the league's first statement on the matter since the legislation was introduced in January.

Similar bathroom legislation in North Carolina led the NCAA to move seven championship games during the 2016-17 school year out of the state.

It is not clear whether or not a bill like this will affect other sporting events in the future.

Technically, the NFL's inclusivity policy would not be affected by SB 6.

"All Texas teams will be able to set their own policies at the stadiums and arenas where they play and hold their events". The next opening is 2021 and Arlington, Texas, home to the Dallas Cowboys, is expected to be one of the bidders.

The next four Super Bowls are scheduled to be played in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles.

  • Tracy Ferguson