Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL Notes: Texas Policy Could Cost Dallas Chance to Host Next Year's Draft

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL Notes: Texas Policy Could Cost Dallas Chance to Host Next Year's Draft

Article excerpt

Texas bill could cost Dallas chance to host next year's draft

Jerry Jones admitted in April that he was "envious" when he saw the turnout and enthusiasm in April that the NFL draft generated in Philadelphia. Naturally, given the Dallas Cowboys owner's status in the league, that vaulted Dallas to the top of the list of possible sites for the 2018 draft.

There is, however, a potential stumbling block, and it's the same one that cost North Carolina the chance to host the 2017 NBA All-Star game and NCAA Tournament basketball games.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called for a special legislative session to consider a bill regulating the use of public restrooms by transgender people. The NFL has spoken up in opposition to such a bill, saying after Super Bowl LI in Houston that it could cost the state future Super Bowls. So it makes sense that it would feel the same about the draft.

"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 told the Dallas Morning News after the Super Bowl.

North Carolina partially repealed its restroom law, which would have required transgender people to use the ones corresponding to their gender birth. The NBA has said it now plans to award its 2019 All-Star Game to Charlotte.

The NFL isn't likely to award the draft until "later this summer/early fall," McCarthy said, and, by then, the state's intent should be clear. If the bill passes, it would take effect in September.

"The NFL embraces inclusiveness," McCarthy wrote in an email in February to the Houston Chronicle, reiterating a stance the league has taken before. "We want all fans to feel welcomed at our events, and NFL policies prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. …

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