Ain’t nobody going back to Indiana if they keep this up.
Several African Americans have come out against the state of Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Act,” a recently enacted law that gives businesses the right to discriminate against gay and lesbian citizens of the United States.
Tony winner Audra McDonald has been one of the most prominent to decry the new law, but two former professional athletes – Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller – have also spoken out against the discriminatory policy.
Indiana, of course, is a state steeped in sports, with high-flying professional sports teams (Colts, Pacers), the Indiannapolis 500, and serious college basketball.
Barkley issued a statement on Friday saying that the state should be boycotted if they keep this up, according to USA Today:
“Discrimination in any form is unacceptable to me,” said Barkley. “As long as anti-gay legislation exists in any state, I strongly believe big events such as the Final Four and Super Bowl should not be held in those states’ cities.”
Miller, who played for many years with the Indiana Pacers, also took to Twitter to talk about it, saying how “very disappointed he was in his adopted home state.”
— Reggie Miller (@ReggieMillerTNT) March 27, 2015
We are, of course, in the thick of “March Madness,” with the Final Four being held in Indianapolis next week. NCAA president Mark Emmert also issued a statement on Friday:
“The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events. We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees.
“We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce.”
Not only is Indiana prideful in its sports teams and athletes, it also makes lots of money from them. Angie’s List announced on Saturday that it is cancelling expansion of its business in the state to the tune of $40 million in lost revenue.
If sports teams and events begin to disappear from the state, how long do you think this new law will last?
LISTEN to Roland Martin and the “NewsOne Now” Straight talk panel discuss the legal ramifications of Indiana’s controversial new law in the audio clip below.