If you ignore history, you are likely to repeat it.
Apparently Texas Republicans are committed to repeating the disastrous mistake made by their GOP colleagues in North Carolina, who passed the anti-LGBT HB2 last year then refused to repeal it. The state has lost countless millions of revenue dollars and has been stripped of major sporting events like the NBA All-Star Game and NCAA tournament events.
Now the Texas Legislature is taking up Senate Bill 6, which would strip all Texas cities of anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT people and force transgender people to use bathrooms not in line with their gender.
While the state will assuredly lose many millions of dollars and countless jobs thanks to the bill, just as North Carolina did, it is also set to lose the chance to host major sporting events.
Currently none of the major pro-sports leagues — NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS or WNBA — have any all-star games planned. The only league to host its championship in a neutral site, the NFL, will host the Super Bowl next month in Houston but has no current plans to return the game to Texas.
The NCAA is a different matter. Dallas is set to host the Women’s Final Four later this year, and San Antonio is slated to host the Men’s Final Four in 2018.
Given the similarities between North Carolina’s HB2 and Texas’ SB6, the NCAA would seem poised to move all championship events from Texas as well. The NCAA did not immediately return a request for comment earlier this afternoon.
The question now is how quickly Texas Republicans act on the bill. If passed soon, will the NCAA move the Women’s Final Four this April? Will they wait to act until it’s possibly passed in February or March?
The battle for LGBT protection just shifted from North Carolina to Texas. The NCAA’s reaction may be a key to all of it.