The NFL has issued a warning to Georgia over that state legislature’s advance of a so-called “religious-freedom” bill that protects same-sex marriage opponents from discrimination lawsuits, saying the measure, if approved into law, could impact where future championship games are played.
“NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, CBS News reported. “Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites.”
Atlanta is one of the finalists for two Super Bowls, in 2019 or 2020, along with New Orleans, Miami and Tampa. Atlanta, however, has emerged as a favorite because of its stadium’s new retractable roof. But Georgia’s new proposal, House Bill 757, could put a damper on that.
And now, Atlanta Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank has tried to distance himself from the bill, which is before Gov. Nathan Deal for approval.
“I strongly believe a diverse, inclusive and welcoming Georgia is critical to our citizens and the millions of visitors coming to enjoy all that our great state has to offer,” Blank said, in a statement to the media in response to the NFL’s opposition to the bill. “House Bill 757 undermines these principles and would have long-lasting negative impact on our state and the people of Georgia.”
Businesses in Georgia, including Coca-Cola, Home Depot and Google, have opposed the measure as well, as WND previously reported.
But Christian groups and those opposed to same-sex marriage are rallying behind state lawmakers and pressing them to stand strong against those who want the bill to go away.
“This is another example of the gay agenda coming out against Christians,” said 4 Winds Christian Athletics president Steve McConkey, in a written statement. “The NFL and other sport associations, plus big business, are joining forces with the gay elite establishment to penalize Christians if they do not support homosexuality. This is an attack on Christian freedom.”
The 4 Winds Christian Athletics is a worldwide sports ministry that’s headquartered near the University of Wisconsin football stadium in Madison.