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Why the sports world will crush opponents of LGBT rights

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  • Why the sports world will crush opponents of LGBT rights

    Putting aside for a moment how astounding it is to see sports, of all places, at the forefront of this social issue—it was only eight years ago that LeBron James said he’d be wary of having a gay teammate because he wouldn’t be “trustworthy”—the key to this backlash is that, generally speaking, when sports leagues put pressure on cities and states, the pressure is effective. We’ve in fact seen it with this exact law. It was less than a year ago that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed that state’s “religious freedoms” bill, in large part because the NFL was so angry, partly about the potential passage of the bill and mostly because it would be hosting the Super Bowl there in February 2015. The last thing the league wanted was the sort of protests Indianapolis will be receiving this weekend. (Compared to that, DeflateGate was a breeze.) Brewer did not deny that the league’s threats—including a leak to Sports Illustrated that the league was already looking into possible relocation scenarios that it would enact if she signed the law—were a major reason she vetoed the bill. There were (probably overinflated) estimates that the Super Bowl would bring nearly $500 million to the Phoenix economy—though not Glendale—and Brewer could not afford to risk losing that. So she caved. The message was undeniable: Sports leagues, for pure business reasons, could not abide anti-gay legislation, which is precisely what the new Indiana law is considered by so many to be.

    If sports leagues turn on Indiana, as it appears will be the case if the law is not repealed (and Pence repeatedly said it wouldn’t), it could be devastating for Indianapolis. Long a sleepy, cloudy, industrial burg, Indianapolis has sprung to life in recent years, in large part because of a sparkling new airport (built in large part to help spur a Super Bowl visit) and a vibrant, walkable downtown that’s ideal for hosting sporting events. This will be its seventh Final Four, it regularly hosts the Big Ten Tournament (this Illinois grad can verify that Indianapolis is hands-down the best B1G tourney host) and, most impressively, it received widespread plaudits for Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. The NFL was so pleased with how well-run and well-organized that Super Bowl was—and how there were enough hotels and restaurants downtown to satisfy all the visitors, particularly when everyone can just walk to the stadium and walk home—that it was widely assumed that Indianapolis would be receiving another Super Bowl down the line, perhaps as early as 2019. There’s no chance of that now, not while that law still exists. In fact, as long as that law is on the books, it’s difficult to imagine any sports organization placing any major event in Indianapolis: It is simply against the current prevailing corporate culture, in sports or otherwise. It is plain bad business for the NFL to mess with that. There is no Super Bowl in Indianapolis’ future, not anymore.
    You think he's joking?

    NASCAR’s Brett Jewkes, senior vice president and chief communications officer, issued a statement as Pence spoke Tuesday.

    “NASCAR is disappointed by the recent legislation passed in Indiana. We will not embrace nor participate in exclusion or intolerance. We are committed to diversity and inclusion within our sport and therefore will continue to welcome all competitors and fans at our events in the state of Indiana and anywhere else we race.”
    It's so great that conservatives worked so hard to lower the taxes of the overwhelmingly liberal billionaire class.
    "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

    There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

  • #2
    I have a feeling the senior vice president and chief communications officer of NASCAR might be...a little out of touch with his consumer base.


    • #3
      Don't the folks in NASCAR have a lot of sponsors they need to appease? Sponsors can be awfully sensitive to issues like this these days.
      Middle-of-the-road swing voter. Feel free to sway my opinion.


      • #4
        Wal-Mart is upset about Arkansas's law too, but I don't know what leverage they have. Wal-Mart is not going to pull out of their home state (or any state). Sports leagues do have this leverage because they'll find other cities willing to throw public funds at them.
        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill


        • #5
          Most of the companies don't seem to have a clue what the laws mean. They see "discrimination" and want to jump on the political expediency bandwagon. Majority doesn't rule any more, money does. But Angie's List is blowing smoke over the REAL reason why they object:


          Oesterle said one of Angie's top executives and his partner, who are gay, are questioning their decision to move to Indiana to work for Angie's List.

          © Copyright Original Source

          That's what
          - She

          Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
          - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

          I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
          - Stephen R. Donaldson


          • #6
            "NASCAR is disappointed by the recent legislation passed in Indiana. We will not embrace nor participate in exclusion or intolerance."

            He went on to say, "Unless, of course, it's exclusion or intolerance of religious expression, and then it's A-OK!"
            Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
            But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
            Than a fool in the eyes of God

            From "Fools Gold" by Petra


            • #7
              Sportswriters are definitely the most PC-whipped white males in America today, but due to their hysterical willingness to curry favor with their masters, you can often get more truth out of them than the rest of the media:

              Much like the corporate world, the sports world is a force for the status quo—and on these issues, the status quo has been liberalizing rapidly.
              Don't you think that's giving just a little too much of the liberal power strategy away, Mr. Leitch? Has the NBA, the NFL, the NHL, etc. ever run with the marketing tagline "A FORCE FOR THE STATUS QUO!" Wouldn't that be the type of thing they call a little too 'on the nose'?

              "much like corporations, sports teams and organizations have real power"
              "the key to this backlash is that, generally speaking, when sports leagues put pressure on cities and states, the pressure is effective."
              "Brewer did not deny that the league’s threats"
              Some people are interested in sports because they're interested in sports. Some people are interested in sports organizations because it lets them exploit an established source of cash and influence to sound the megaphone for their personal/political pet projects. Really, they're birds of a feather.

              While I'm thinking about it, was there ever a popular sports movie where the league or the suits didn't play a generally obstructive or villanous role? Usually as a bunch of guys who planned to ruin ordinary people, communities, and their dreams forever, often over nothing but spite?

              You know who should keep a particular eye on how this plays out? Georgia. The state has been wrestling with its own version of a religious-freedom bill, introduced by State Senator Josh McKoon, and while it was tabled for this session of the state legislature, McKoon is expected to try again when the House reconvenes. It will be difficult to argue, even for the bill's supporters, that its passage wouldn’t be a self-inflicted and likely fatal wound for Atlanta’s desire to host major sporting events in its soon-to-open $1.4 billion stadium. The New Atlanta Stadium—as it will be called until a corporate sponsor pays the Falcons millions of dollars—will begin hosting the Falcons and an expansion MLS team in 2017 but is the centerpiece of a plan to make Atlanta a sports hub, hosting not just the Super Bowl, but also the Final Four, soccer’s Gold Cup and the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Georgia can kiss all of that goodbye if McKoon’s bill passes. They won’t have a chance.

              The Final Four in Indianapolis should ensure that outcome by making clear to all parties what’s at stake. When the protestors descend on Indianapolis this weekend, it will be a black eye for the NCAA and a most unwelcome distraction for the organization and CBS/Turner, which paid $10.8 billion for the rights to air the tournament over a 14-year stretch. It’s a headache no one wants to deal with, regardless of any actual discrimination that could happen in the wake of the law. The NCAA, and others, will make certain it does not happen again. I hope Indianapolis enjoys hosting this big event this weekend. Because it won’t happen again for a long, long time.
              Straight from the Royal Vizier's mouth! But really, Alinsky would never publish the notes of his corporate shakedown strategy meeting before, you know, the actual event took place. Unless he was already so well entrenched that he just didn't care anymore. In any case, the Bible's pretty clear about what to do with people who make threats and sow dissension for the sake of their own fortune and perverted judgment.


              • #8
                Hey, welcome back Epo!
                "It's evolution; every time you invent something fool-proof, the world invents a better fool."

                "Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words." - Most likely St.Francis

                I find that evolution is the best proof of God.
                I support the :


                • #9
                  Nice to see you too.

                  Come to think of it, during the 90s-2000s, you had Varsity Blues and Remember the Titans as the sports movies where the greatest villain was the local community, but I don't think they really made it into the canon compared to something like, say, Any Given Sunday. The last big sports-ish movie I saw was Moneyball, which, while good, was way more about the first word than the second.

                  But if the likes of Will Leitch and Brett Jewkes (who judging by their pictures would have played the villains in almost every pre-90s sports movie) are actually the ones making the decisions now, then may as well let it sink into obscurity unremarked.


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