NFL Warns Georgia: Anti-Gay ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill Could Mean No Super Bowl


Contentious Pro-Discrimination Legislation Awaits Governor's Signature

The NFL is playing offense when it comes to anti-LGBT discrimination. Georgia lawmakers this week sent a "religious freedom" bill designed to protect people, organizations, and some corporations from having to deal with same-sex couples, as their "sincerely held religious beliefs" dictate. The bill sits on GOP Gov. Nathan Deal's desk, awaiting a signature or a veto.

Many businesses and groups are speaking against the legislation, including earlier this afternoon the owner of the Atlanta Falcons, who said it will have a "long-lasting negative impact" on the Peach State.

Now, the NFL is weighing in, warning that if the bill becomes law, it could jeopardize any chance of Georgia hosting a Super Bowl.

“NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard," the NFL's statement on the bill to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reads. "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."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which published the statement, notes, "Falcons owner Arthur Blank has hoped to land multiple Super Bowls in the team’s new stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2017. The NFL has previously moved a Super Bowl from Arizona to the Rose Bowl near Los Angeles in the 1992 season after that state refused to recognize the Martin Luther King holiday."