Being from New England, there are many reasons to want Roger Goodell, the National Football League’s (NFL) commissioner, to be removed from his position of power. Unfortunately for the NFL, Goodell just recently granted everyone in America another reason to dislike his tenure as commissioner. Two weeks ago, Houston hosted Super Bowl LI, which brought in more than 111 million viewers and has been recorded as “the fifth most-watched TV broadcast in history.” A week after Texas’ record setting Super Bowl, the NFL threatened Texas that the Super Bowl could never be hosted within the state again. Why was this threat issued? Senate Bill Number 6 – AKA Texas’ “Bathroom Bill”.
S.B. No. 6
The relevant portions of this twelve page bill can be summarized in one short section: “A school district or open-enrollment charter school shall adopt a policy requiring each multiple-occupancy bathroom or changing facility accessible to students that is located in a school or school facility to be designated for and used only by persons based on the person’s biological sex.” In short, the bill is designed to target public areas in Texas and ensure that these areas maintain proper levels of privacy in their multi-occupancy bathrooms and changing rooms.
Goodell’s Virtue Signalling
Nevertheless, last week, the NFL released the following statement: “If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events …The NFL embraces inclusiveness. We want all fans to feel welcomed at our events, and NFL policies prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard.” To be clear, the bill itself was introduced in January, but that did not stop the NFL from promoting the Super Bowl in Houston, Texas for a month prior to this statement.
More importantly, the above quotation from Senate Bill Six, as well as the entirety of Texas’ Senate Bill, leaves one thing out of the equation: the NFL. The Senate Bill allows private institutions, as well as publicly owned yet privately leased places of business, which is the case for several of Texas’ football stadiums, to enforce whatever rules they wish with regards to privacy considerations in bathrooms.
Texas’ policy does not tangibly affect the NFL’s policies, and the Senate Bill does not even run afoul of the NFL’s alleged dedication to prohibiting discrimination. The Texas’ policy makers behind the bill have made clear that “SB 6 would still allow for accommodations for transgender students, such as single-stall restrooms, on a case-by-case basis.” In the end, this whole affair by Goodell and the NFL is nothing more than hypocritical, politically correct virtue signalling. Fortunately, Texas Governor Greg Abbott will not stand for a professional sports entertainment league’s meddling in state politics.