The NFL has made it clear that the new North Carolina law encouraging discrimination against LGB people and mandating discrimination against transgender people won't affect any of their plans, confirming today that the league will not move its team owners meeting out of Charlotte this May. From ESPN's David Newton:
"We embrace diversity and inclusiveness in all of our policies,'' league spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN.com. "The Panthers have made clear their position of non-discrimination and respect for all their fans. The city of Charlotte also has made clear its position.
"The meeting will take place in the city of Charlotte."
This further strengthens the perspective that these leagues provide no substance behind their words. The NFL has threatened different cities or states, most recently Georgia, that it may consider the existence of anti-LGBT laws when determining the sites for future events. But when the league has had the opportunity to make a strong statement with action, it has failed to move events in Houston or Charlotte after the legalization of discrimination.
To be clear, the law that North Carolina passed is heinous. Not only does it legalize discrimination against LGBT people, but it mandates discrimination against transgender people and prevents any government entity in the state from protecting gays, lesbians or bisexual people.
While the NFL and all of these continue to talk about how much they embrace gay people, they still have no openly gay players or coaches and continue to support the economies of hate states like North Carolina. While the NFL does make baby steps forward, having inclusive talks with rookies and owners and making Outsports an equal part of its media credentialing process, when it comes to taking a powerful stand that could affect the lives of millions, it hides behind the shield.
Lots of talk talk talk. Little action.