University of Southern California athletic director Pat Haden has announced that he is boycotting the upcoming College Football Playoff committee meeting to be held in Indiana because of the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The former USC and Los Angeles Rams quarterback claims that he cannot support the CFP meeting to be held in Indianapolis this week because his son is gay. “I am the proud father of a gay son. In his honor, I will not be attending the CFP committee meeting in Indy this week,” Haden announced via Twitter.
I am the proud father of a gay son. In his honor, I will not be attending the CFP committee meeting in Indy this week. #EmbraceDiversity
— Pat Haden (@ADHadenUSC) March 31, 2015
CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock was quick to report that he understands and supports Haden’s decision saying, “Everyone has the right to express their personal opinion, and Pat, to his credit, has expressed his. As a father and also a human being, I respect him for that. I will also express my personal opinion: I think they need to fix this.”
But even as Hancock threw his personal political opinion into the mix, he also hastened to note that the CFP intends to stay out of politics and will keep its focus on sports.
Like many, Haden has not addressed the fact that more than half of the states as well as the federal government have passed religious freedom laws that resemble Indiana’s. Since the original 1993 federal law was signed by Bill Clinton, 31 states have passed their own religious freedom acts.
On Tuesday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence reacted with astonishment that his state had been singled out from among the 31 states with similar laws. Calling the media’s biased coverage of the story “shameless,” Pence nonetheless vowed to have the state legislature clarify the law to affirm that it would give no one the right to discriminate against anyone.
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