Texas Politics

Texas bathroom bill: Democrat asks sports leaders to speak against ‘intolerant’ bill

The bathroom bill continues to draw attention as it makes its way through the Texas Legislature.
The bathroom bill continues to draw attention as it makes its way through the Texas Legislature. Star-Telegram

State Rep. Chris Turner is asking top professional football and basketball leaders to weigh in on the proposed “bathroom bill” in Texas.

Turner, D-Grand Prairie, sent letters to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday making sure the two are “aware of this ill-advised, intolerant legislation.”

He said he hopes they will clearly state their opposition to the bill known as House Bill 2899.

These letters were sent out shortly after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signaled support for the House’s proposed bathroom bill, scheduled for a committee hearing Wednesday.

Abbott, who called the House version a “thoughtful proposal,” said he hopes to “work with the House and Senate to ensure we find a solution and ultimately get a bill to my desk that I will sign into law.”

Heading into the committee hearing, the House version states that local governments may not adopt an ordinance to “protect a class of persons from discrimination, or reduce or expand a class of persons protected under state law from discrimination.”

Turner, who heads the House Democratic Caucus, notes that his district includes AT&T Stadium in Arlington, home to the Dallas Cowboys.

In his letters, he says both the NBA and NFL have “taken a strong stance over the last several years in opposing similar discriminatory measures.”

“In keeping with this stance, it seems natural you would also strongly oppose HB 2899,” Turner wrote to both commissioners. “This measure is antithetical to the [NFL and NBA’s] stated goals of tolerance and inclusiveness and is inconsistent with our league’s policies.

“Additionally, any measure that upends non-discrimination protections is, by definition, inherently and unambiguously discriminatory.”

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley