NFL Warning Atlanta May Not Get Super Bowl If Governor Signs ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill
The award for objectivity in headlines this year will most certainly not be going to Pro Football Talk. On Saturday morning, the NBC-owned sports website covering the NFL greeted their listeners, who were eagerly seeking NFL free agency news, with this headline:
“Georgia anti-gay law could cost Atlanta a Super Bowl”
It didn’t get any better from there.
“Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is in the process of deciding whether to sign a law that its supporters call a “religious liberty” bill but which opponents point out would legalize anti-gay discrimination in the state. The NFL is letting the governor know that if he signs the bill, it could jeopardize Atlanta’s chances of hosting the Super Bowl.
Although Atlanta is widely expected to get the Super Bowl in either 2019 or 2020 after taxpayers agreed to finance the Falcons’ new stadium, the league released a statement on Friday saying it will review the law in conjunction with determining whether the Falcons get the game.
“NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard,” the league’s statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said. “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.”
See what they did there? Less than one complete sentence about what the supporters of the bill believe. Mainly, that it is not a bill meant to discriminate against gays, but a bill designed to protect faith-based organizations –including schools and priests– from government retribution should they dare to make use of their Constitutional right to conduct their business in a manner consistent with their faith, or forced to perform a wedding service for gays, contradicting pretty much everything they believe in.