Throughout the course of my adult life, there have been plenty of times where I watched or read the news and thought out loud, “What the fuck is wrong is with Texas?” But with the state that’s given us Jerry Jones, Ted Cruz, and breast implants taking its ain’t shit-ness to another level by recently passing a series of abhorrent laws in relation to voting rights, mask mandates, and women’s reproductive freedoms, the NAACP is now pushing for professional athletes to take their talents (and economic impact) elsewhere.
The NAACP sent a letter to the players’ associations in five professional sports Thursday asking players to reconsider signing with teams in Texas because of recent laws passed in the state.
In a two-page letter signed by NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson that was sent to the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL and WNBA players’ associations, the organization pointed to recent laws on abortions, voting rights and mask mandates during the coronavirus pandemic as reasons to avoid joining teams in Texas.
“As we watch an incomprehensible assault on basic human rights unfold in Texas, we are simultaneously witnessing a threat to constitutional guarantees for women, children and marginalized communities,” the letter, which is directly addressed to Gov. Greg Abbott, says. “Over the past few months, legislators in Texas have passed archaic policies, disguised as laws, that directly violate privacy rights and a woman’s freedom to choose, restrict access to free and fair elections for Black and brown voters, and increase the risk of contracting coronavirus. If you are a woman, avoid Texas. If you are Black, avoid Texas. If you want to lower your chances of dying from coronavirus, avoid Texas.
“Texas is setting a precedent for effectively dismantling civil rights throughout the nation. Their top priority is infringing on their constitutional duty to promote the general welfare. It is time we take this situation into our own hands and stand up for what is right. It is up to those with a voice to stand up for the women in our lives, to protect our children and our fellow citizens.
“If you are considering signing in Texas, I ask you to ensure that owners are upholding their responsibility of protecting you, the athlete, and your family. I ask you to use your influence to help protect the constitutional rights of each individual at risk.”
While the rest of us have been doing everything humanly possible to maintain our sanity during this pandemic, Gov. Abbott has willingly relinquished his. This year alone, in May, he signed a law that prohibits abortions after a mere six weeks of pregnancy; in September, he greenlit a Republican-backed bill that overhauled (and restricted) the state’s election laws; and please don’t get me started on how Governor Dumb Ass has handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Texas lawmakers have destroyed the state’s moral compass by passing these laws,” the letter says. “In return, we are asking that you seek employment with sports teams located in states that will protect, honor, and serve your families with integrity. We are now pleading with you—if you are a free agent and are considering employment inTexas, look elsewhere. The Texas government will not protect your family. Demand that Texas owners invest in your rights and protect your investments. Texas is not safe for you, your spouse, or your children. Until the legislation is overturned, Texas isn’t safe for anyone.”