Texas governor Greg Abbott mocked the NFL in a recent tweet after league spokesman Brian McCarthy warned that the state could miss out on hosting a future Super Bowl if a "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people is deemed discriminatory.
"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,"McCarthy told the Associated Press.
NFL decision makers also benched Tom Brady last season. It ended with NFL handing the Super Bowl trophy to Brady. https://t.co/Qg06jT9RDp— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 11, 2017
Details of the bill, via the AP:
Under the Texas bill, people would be required to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate. It's similar to a North Carolina law that prompted the NCAA to pull seven championship events from that state last year and is backed by Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a powerful figure in the state who had cited the Houston Super Bowl as proof that big events will stick around.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick reiterated that his office remained committed to "making sure that every Texas is welcomed" at sporting events.
"Despite persistent misinformation in the media, under Senate Bill 6, all Texas teams will be able to set their own policies at the stadiums and arenas where they play and hold their events. There is no conflict with the NFL's statement today and Senate Bill 6," Patrick spokesman Alejandro Garcia said, via SI.com.
Meanwhile, North Carolina's bathroom law, known as HB2, has led to the relocation of several sporting events, including seven NCAA championships and the NBA All-Star Game. CBS Austin affilate KEYE's Jordan Bontke has reported on how the proposed bill could affect the Texas economy.
"Sports and tourism folks in North Carolina say this has been devastating for them," Jessica Shortall of Texas Competes, a group that studies the economic health of the state, told Bontke about the HB2 bathroom bill.
"When an event is canceled, hotel rooms sit empty, that doesn't mean the hotel loses revenue, it means the local restaurants and bars, the family that own a parking lot or garage, they lose revenue," she said.