As Texas Senate Committee Approves Bathroom Bill, Governor Abbott Slams NFL for Jumping Into Debate

AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

The Texas Senate has now passed its bathroom bill out of committee and to the full Senate, but the National Football League continues to warn the state against the bill despite Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s broadside against the NFL saying league officials should stay out of politics and stick to football.

After a day of protests and testimony before the Senate State Affairs Committee, the state’s new bathroom bill cleared its first hurdle to reach the governor’s desk after being passed out of the committee in a 7-1 vote. The bill will now go before the full Senate, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

With heavy support from Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Senate Bill Six would require Texans to use bathrooms and other such facilities on state property and in schools that correspond to their birth gender. It would also prevent local jurisdictions from adopting local statutes that contradict the law.

Senator Lois Kolkhorst (Republican, Brenham), said she was pushing the bill to provide privacy to vulnerable women and girls and to make sure there is a single rule across the Lone Star State.

“I’m trying very hard to craft a bill to strike a balance,” Kolkhorst said. “If we don’t pass this bill, what I think we’ll see is a city-after-city patchwork of policy where in some cities there’s really no gender identity on restrooms.”

All of this meets with disfavor from the NFL who warned that if the bill is passed, the league may punish Texas by preventing the state from hosting Super Bowls and All-Star Games. Early in February, the league issued a warning to Texas that it will react negatively to any passage of such a bill.

“If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said according to the Associated Press.

After the NFL spokesman had issued his warning, Texas Governor Greg Abbott had a warning of his own; stick to football.

“The NFL is walking on thin ice right here,” the governor told talk show host Glenn Beck.

“For some low-level NFL adviser to come out and say that they are going to micromanage and try to dictate to the state of Texas what types of policies we’re going to pass in our state, that’s unacceptable,” Abbott said.

“We don’t care what the NFL thinks and certainly what their political policies are because they are not a political arm of the state of Texas or the United States of America. They need to learn their place in the United States, which is to govern football, not politics,” Abbott added.

“I cannot name or even count the number of Texans who told me that they were not watching the NFL,” Abbott concluded. “They were protesting the NFL this year because of the gross political statement allowed to be made by the NFL by allowing these players, who are not oppressed, who are now almost like snowflakes, little politicians themselves unable to take the United States National Anthem being played.”

The NFL joined the National Basketball Association with warnings to the Lone Star State. The basketball league also warned that it may punish Texas if it should pass a bathroom bill into law.

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