NFL Uses Atlanta’s Super Bowl Bid to Fight Anti-Gay Bill
The NFL is better known for counting its dollars and cents than throwing its weight behind humane issues. Over the past few years it showed what many called an inadequate response to issues like domestic abuse, diversity in the leadership group, and the safety of players. Even so, there is one cause the NFL strongly supports: LGBT rights.
A bill that could lead to discrimination against the LGBT community awaits either an approval or veto from Governor Nathan Deal. The NFL recently voiced its disapproval of the bill, because if Atlanta wants a Super Bowl then everyone should feel welcome. This seems like a reasonable request considering Atlanta already stands as an LGBT mecca ranking third as of 2006 with most LGBT people per capita.
NFL’s Stand for the LGBT Community
The NFL’s policies place special emphasis on tolerance and inclusiveness. It also speaks against discrimination of any kind, whether it’s based on age, race, sexual orientation, or religion.
At least, that’s what the NFL told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The organization then went on to say, “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.”
Other Affected Parties
Arthur Bank, the owner of the new Mercedes Benz stadium, is likewise affected by the bill and also stands against it. His stadium will become the new home of the Falcons. He already put in his bid for consideration of his stadium as a Super Bowl site in the upcoming 2019 and 2020 games.
In a recent statement to Esquire he said, “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.” He also added, “House Bill 757 undermines these principles and would have long-lasting negative impact on our state and the people of Georgia.”
The Private Agendas behind the Strategy
Many believe Bank was mostly thinking of filling his own pockets when he made the statement. However, he isn’t the only one who stands to benefit from this arrangement.
By insisting that everyone be welcomed to the Super Bowl games and celebrations, the NFL opens its gates to more customers and more revenue. While it is commendable that they stand up for the rights of a marginalized group, this move clearly affects their bottom line.
It also represents a personal agenda of the NFL as the Commissioner’s brother is gay and Commissioner Roger Goodell helped throw a few punches in defense of his brother back in the day when kids bullied him because of his sexual preference. How better to help fight this kind of discrimination at this stage in his life than to help enforce greater tolerance at a legislative level?
Regardless of the reasons behind the NFL’s stance, it puts the organization in the limelight for commendable reasons yet again. Whether for profit or personal gain the support of rights and freedoms lies close to the heart of many Americans and is respected even when those rights and freedoms run contrary to personal beliefs. So the NFL comes out the good guy, taking on bad politics one restrictive bill at a time.
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