Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Leagues have selective outrage over LGBT issues

The NFL helped win a victory Monday over discrimination. You'll excuse transgender people if they're clapping with one hand.

For every cause that becomes popular to support, there is one that turns sports organizations into the Marx Brothers. Groucho, specifically. When it comes to standing up for what you believe, he uttered the most appropriate line.

"These are my principles, and if you don't like them, well, I have others."

In this case, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a "religious liberty" bill critics said would have trampled the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people. He'd been under intense pressure from businesses, Hollywood and the NFL, which threatened to remove Atlanta from the short list for upcoming Super Bowls.

I'm not arguing for or against the NFL's stance. I'm just wondering why the league breaks it out so inconsistently. And it is hardly the only one guilty of selective outrage.

The NBA and NCAA howled last week after North Carolina passed a law limiting LGBT rights. The NBA might move the 2017 All-Star Game away from Charlotte, and the NCAA is threatening to take away future tournament basketball games.

This is the same NBA that is prostrating itself before LGBT-gulag China, which makes Charlotte look like San Francisco. The NBA is like Apple, Coca-Cola, PayPal and too many other businesses.

They'll pontificate about their principles and core values and sanctimoniously pounce on Georgia and North Carolina. Then they'll conduct business as usual in places like Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is punishable by death.

At least nobody's getting executed in Georgia, one of 21 states that have Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. The exact statutes vary, but all are problematic to the LGBT community.

One place in particular has no state-wide ban on LGBT discrimination in employment, housing or public accommodation. If you've picked up this newspaper, you live in that state. Despite that, the NFL has had five Super Bowls in Florida since 1998. The College Football Playoff title game will be in Tampa next year. Shouldn't the NBA threaten to move the 2019 NBA Finals away from Orlando if the state keeps codifying inequality?

Okay, that last one's a joke. Sort of like the NCAA's stance in Houston. Remember the furor around last year's Final Four in Indianapolis after Indiana passed a law allowing businesses to refuse to bake wedding cakes for gay couples?

"The NCAA ... and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events," NCAA president Mark Emmert said.

Last November, Houston voters overwhelmingly struck down an ordinance making it harder to discriminate against LGBT people. The focal point was using public bathrooms based on gender identification. In English, that means you have to use the room that matches your biological equipment. That's also a key feature in the Charlotte debate.

Guess where the Final Four is this weekend?

Here's hoping a transgender person doesn't use the wrong bathroom at Houston's NRG Stadium, because the NCAA sure isn't going to bail them out. It said there wasn't enough time to even consider moving the event.

God created the heaven and earth in six days, but the NCAA can't move a Final Four with only five months notice? And lest we forget, guess where the next Super Bowl is?

Same city, same bathrooms.

Different NFL than Georgia has been dealing with.

Texans owner Bob McNair even donated $10,000 to the bathroom-ordinance movement. He rescinded it when his donation became public. Even the supposed bad guys in this battle can't keep their principles straight.

As the Final Four ends, TBS should show something that truly illustrates how leagues are handling these battles. Instead of One Shining Moment, it should show clips of a Marx Brothers movie.

I suggest Horse Feathers.

— Orlando Sentinel (TNS)

Leagues have selective outrage over LGBT issues 03/29/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 8:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.