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NFL says it will not withdraw Super Bowl from Houston

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The NFL will not move Super Bowl LI from Houston, putting LGBT visitors to the event at risk of legal discrimination.

The NFL has joined the NCAA in making it crystal clear that, as an institution, it doesn't give a crap about equal rights for LGBT people. After Houston voters overwhelmingly supported the repeal of an anti-discrimination ordinance, effectively legalizing discrimination particularly aimed at LGBT people, the NFL has said it will not withdraw its plans to host Super Bowl LI in February 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

"This will not affect our plans for Super Bowl LI in 2017," the NFL said in a statement. "We will work closely with the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee to make sure all fans feel welcomed at our events. Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard."

The NFL is actually largely telling the truth about how it manages it's own events, inside the stadiums of its own games. Yet the League cannot remotely control how LGBT people are treated by business owners and other public accommodations in a city that has just legalized discrimination. As opposed to just about every other major city in America, Houston is no longer a "safe place" for LGBT people to visit or do business, as they can be turned away from a hotel or by a waiter or cab driver, simply for "looking or acting" gay or being trans.

I have come to expect more from the NFL. I have great relationships with many of the folks there. Roger Goodell has a gay brother. Many of them want to do better. They do.

Yet as an institution, particularly given the incredibly swift way with which they League decided to ignore the new situation in Houston, the NFL does not care about equality or equal access for LGBT people. Full steam ahead.