and ponder Indy 2016.
How can any women’s basketball fan imagine attending the Final Four in Indianapolis if this ridiculous legislative apology for discrimination stands? Much of the analysis is looking at this from the men’s side of sports (of course), but it is all table setting for a year long debate.
From the New York Times: Sports Entities Begin to Digest Implications of Indiana Law
Most affected leagues and teams have either declined to comment or expressed muted concern.
But one influential agent went further, strongly suggesting that officials in professional and college sports reconsider their presence in the state in light of the law.
“I urge the Indiana Pacers, the N.C.A.A. and the professional sports leagues to not only condemn this blatantly unconstitutional legislation, but to take forceful action against it by re-evaluating their short- and long-term plans in the state,” Arn Tellem, the sports agent, said in an email. Tellem’s clients include the basketball stars Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose and Anthony Davis as well as Jason Collins, the first openly gay N.B.A. player.
And several basketball players who could find themselves playing for a national championship next week expressed, like Johnson, broader tolerance of people who are gay.
It was nice to see this from the Pacers/Fever:
The following joint statement was issued today by the NBA, WNBA, Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever in regard to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act recently signed into law in Indiana:
“The game of basketball is grounded in long established principles of inclusion and mutual respect. We will continue to ensure that all fans, players and employees feel welcome at all NBA and WNBA events in Indiana and elsewhere.”
Additionally, Pacers and Fever owner Herb Simon stated:
“The Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and Bankers Life Fieldhouse have the strongest possible commitment to inclusion and non-discrimination on any basis. Everyone is always welcome at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That has always been the policy from the very beginning of the Simon family’s involvement and it always will be. ”
I appreciate the statement, but it needs to go further. Imagine, if you will, NCAA champion-WNBA Champion-FIBA Worlds Champion Brittney Griner’s Phoenix Mercury play NCAA champion-WNBA-Champion-Olympic Champion Tamkia Catching’s Indiana Fever at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and, say, Wimbledon great Billie Jean King graces the arena with her presence. They all decide to go out for dinner afterward… and are refused service.
How can any right-minded American think that is at all okay? There needs to be a commitment to do everything in their power to overturn this idiocy – in Indiana AND Arkansas (’cause 19 states that have ‘religious freedom’ laws like Indiana’s that no one is boycotting)
Oh, and WBCA? Where is your voice? *crickets*
Kate Fagan writes: DEAR INDIANA, YOU NEED TO AMEND YOUR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BILL
If you contend you’re more like Illinois and Connecticut (two other states with “religious freedom” bills) than you are like Alabama and Louisiana — prove it.
Turns out that 19 other states have some form of a “religious freedom” bill, including the aforementioned two: Connecticut and Illinois. That’s surprising, considering that nobody is calling for the NCAA or NFL to boycott holding events in Chicago or Hartford. But do you want to know one reason why? Because the potential discriminatory nature of the “religious freedom” bills in those states is counteracted by the statewide policies protecting LGBT people from discrimination.
These anti-discrimination policies are not county-by-county. They’re not just government employment protection. They are sweeping measures that include public and private employment, public expression and interactions while receiving goods and services.
You, Indiana, have no such sweeping anti-discrimination policy. (Neither does Alabama or Louisiana.)