Texas Gov. Greg Abbot is criticizing the NFL after the league came out last week and said that Texas might not see any more Super Bowls if a controversial bathroom bill targeting transgendered people is passed.
Abbott, while talking to Glenn Beck, went directly at the NFL saying they are “walking on thin ice” by threatening to withhold the Super Bowl.
“The NFL needs to concentrate on playing football and get the heck out of politics.,” Abbott said. “Let’s go back to their previous political statement they made; which is allowing NFL football players to kneel during the National Anthem. These are people, with especially with the quarterback for then San Francisco, taking a knee when the National Anthem is being played. He is getting paid $100 Million to play a game. Complaining he is being oppressed. He needs to be standing up in respect for the men and women who died fighting in the United States military so he can go out and play a game and get paid $100 million.
“Most recently, for some low-level NFL advisor to come out and say that they are going to micromanage and dictate to the state of Texas what types of policies we are going to pass in our state, that is unacceptable. We don’t care what the NFL thinks or certainly what their political policies are because they are not a political arm of the state of Texas or the United States of America. They need to learn their place in the United States, which is to govern football. Not politics.”
The “low-level NFL advisor” is league spokesman Brian McCarthy. He answered an e-mail question about the Texas bill over the weekend: “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.”
Abbott had already taken to twitter to respond to that original story on twitter:
Houston just finished hosting a very successful Super Bowl, but Dallas hasn’t hosted a game since 2011. Super Bowls currently are locked in through 2021. None of those are scheduled for Texas.
Under the bill in question, people would be required to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate. North Carolina passed a similar bill that that prompted the NBA to relocate the All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans and the NCAA to pull seven championship events from that state in 2016.
The Texas bill is backed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Following the NFL’s statement on the bathroom bill, Patrick’s office said that the state would be committed to the bill as well as “making sure that every Texan is welcomed” at events in the state.
The NFL has issued warnings in the recent past regarding state legislation that critics believe invite discrimination. In 2015, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a “religious liberty” bill the NFL insinuated could lead to Atlanta being passed over for future Super Bowls. Atlanta is set set to host the 2019 Super Bowl.