The NBA, WNBA, Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever released a statement in reaction to the new Indiana state law, signed by Gov. Mike Pence, that legalizes discrimination against LGBT people:
The following joint statement was issued today by the NBA, WNBA, Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever in regard to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act recently signed into law in Indiana:
"The game of basketball is grounded in long established principles of inclusion and mutual respect. We will continue to ensure that all fans, players and employees feel welcome at all NBA and WNBA events in Indiana and elsewhere."
Additionally, Pacers and Fever owner Herb Simon stated:
"The Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and Bankers Life Fieldhouse have the strongest possible commitment to inclusion and non-discrimination on any basis. Everyone is always welcome at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That has always been the policy from the very beginning of the Simon family's involvement and it always will be."
The statement is lovely and certainly welcome. It just isn't a statement about the new law. It says the teams and leagues will continue to welcome everyone, as they've said before. Yet there's no comment on the mean-spirited law and how it will affect the Pacers, Fever or league decisions. Where's the teeth to this? Where's something that says "we disagree with the passing of this law?" Where's the fortitude to say, "We won't hold any All-Star Games in Indiana until this law is repealed?"
The NBA and WNBA have been good on LGBT issues for a while. You might even say they've been very good.
I'll continue waiting for the leagues to issue a statement on the law.