Texas Gov. Greg Abbott previously warned the NFL to stay out of the business of Texas politics, but it’s business that will kill his desired toilet bill.
Texas Senate Bill 6 will die without direct influence from the most powerful sports franchise in the state.
Despite obvious interest in the measure, the Dallas Cowboys so far have not commented on the controversial bathroom bill. Do not expect them to say a word on this.
A Cowboys spokesperson told me the franchise does not expect to publicly comment on this topic, one day after the Dallas Stars, through team president Jim Lites, publicly became the state’s first pro sports team to condemn it.
It’s a bad secret the Cowboys want no part of this bill.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones typically runs from any type of political commentary, or position. Even though this bill would hurt his chances to potentially host a Super Bowl again he’s not going to say a word that would put him on a ledge.
Sign Greg Hardy? Sure. We can do that. Support, or condemn, a bathroom bill? You can bet a shiny $3 bill on a crippled cricket’s ass Jerry’s going to comment on it.
Even though the Stars’ announcement is being labeled as “controversial” bet every one of your Tubmans that all of the sports teams from Houston to San Antonio to Dallas, and the college teams, support Lites’ stance.
The NBA, the NHL, the NFL, MLB and all of the major venues in each of these communities want nothing that would potentially affect their respective chances to host a major event. Events that generate money for the teams, the leagues, and the cities.
Texas Senate Bill 6 is a proposal that would require transgender people to use public restrooms based on the gender listed on their birth certificate. It had tremendous support by Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
And it’s about to die because the entity Gov. Abbott warned to keep their noses out of Texas politics have all but killed it.
In February, the NFL issued a public statement warning Texas not to pass this bill. Abbott responded by saying, “They need to learn their place in the United States, which is to govern football, not politics.”
To which I wrote in February to this silly empty-rhetoric finger wag: “Good point, Gov — it’s unprecedented in the history of the United States that a business or financial incentive has ever molded, influenced or flat-out authored public legislation.”
Businesses often (all the time) govern politics. The NFL is a business; it just sells entertainment rather than a gallon of gas.
It was not until more businesses declared no interest in this bill that legislators followed suit. When leaders from the state’s largest corporations spoke out against the bill in the end of July, momentum on this in Austin changed dramatically.
Funny how that works.
I don’t buy that figure. Say the projection is closer to $1 billion and it’s still too much. Even if it’s one dollar it’s still too much.
A similar law was passed in North Carolina, and immediately met with national anger from the world of sports entertainment. The state lost out on the chance to host several major events. Financial losses over this bill were projected around $630 million.
One week remains in this most current special session of the Texas legislature, and the most polarizing bill on the agenda is all but dead.
As a result, there should be no obstacles for our state to remain in the running to host NBA All-Star games, NCAA championships, concerts and the usual list of events.
The Cowboys didn’t have to say a word to help end the bathroom bill, but they are no different than the Dallas Stars or any other big business that opposed it.
This was a cash-based decision, and that, Mr. Gov Abbott, is what governs politics. So please don’t waste our time insisting otherwise.
Mac Engel: @macengelprof