Texas Governor Lashes Out At NFL Over Threat Of Boycotting State

The controversy stems from a proposed anti-trans "bathroom bill."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott isn’t fazed by the NFL’s threat to keep his state from hosting future Super Bowls if a proposed “bathroom bill” is passed.

Introduced in January, the Texas Privacy Act, or SB6, would require people to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate. For transgender people and their allies, the bill is uncomfortably similar to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which became law in March 2016 and prompted the NBA to relocate its All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans. 

On Feb. 10, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Houston Chronicle that the organization “embraces inclusiveness” and, as such, legislation that would be “discriminatory or inconsistent with our values” would be taken into consideration when scouting locations for future Super Bowls. The interview took place just days after Houston hosted Super Bowl LI

Abbott, a Republican, first addressed McCarthy’s remarks on Twitter, with a tweet that pointed to 2016’s “Deflategate” controversy as evidence of the NFL’s hypocrisy. 

On Tuesday, Abbott blasted the threat once again in an interview with conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday, arguing that the “snowflake” NFL was “walking on thin ice” and, instead, needed to “concentrate on playing football and get the heck out of politics.”

“For some low-level NFL adviser to come out and say that they are going to micromanage and try to dictate to the state of Texas what types of policies we’re going to pass in our state, that’s unacceptable,” he told Beck. “We don’t care what the NFL thinks and certainly what their political policies are... they need to learn their place in the United States, which is to govern football, not politics.”

Abbott didn’t stop there, claiming that the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality had prompted many Texans to stop watching NFL games. 

“They were protesting the NFL this year because of the gross political statement allowed to be made by the NFL by allowing these players, who are not oppressed, who are now almost like snowflake little politicians themselves unable to take the United States National Anthem being played,” he said. You can listen to Abbott’s full interview with Beck here

Meanwhile, the NFL has selected venues for all of its Super Bowls through 2021, none of which are located in Texas. 

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