The NFL recently warned the state of Texas that a proposal to limit transgender access to bathrooms could impact future decisions about the location of major sporting events. Is this nothing more than political blackmail? Should organizations/big businesses be allowed to pursue public policy agendas at the expense of fans/consumers?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-It is nothing more than political blackmail, and organizations like the NFL should not be allowed to pursue public policy agendas at the expense of fans, consumers and state laws that make policies on behalf of citizen majorities.

The idea that the NFL and other organizations and businesses should make or greatly influence policy is ludicrous. As NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy recently stated, “If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there (Texas) that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events.”

Texas Governor Abbott responded to McCarthy’s remark by saying, “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,” and he is right, it is unacceptable.

Many organizations like the NFL and others have taken advantage of their positions in the marketplace to dictate policies at local and state levels. Because of the tremendous revenue generated by the NFL and their holdings within states where their organization operates, they believe that their influence should control all political outcomes, particularly when it involves any legislation, like the transgender bathroom bill that could possibly disrupt their flow of revenue within Texas.

In their politically correct posturing and avarice, the NFL and others have conveniently forgotten that local and state governments make policies that rule a city or state, not their organization or other businesses, but they will likely continue with their reactive stances, no matter the state or legislation.

When corporations, businesses and organizations decide that they are going to micromanage a city or state through blackmail tactics, such as limiting or banning sporting events from occurring in the state or in other states because they are upset over proposed legislation in Texas or somewhere else, then they have to be challenged and informed that they are not in charge of the state or its policies.

There are other reasons to inform NFL representatives that they have no say-so in a city or state’s politics and that reason is their 29 plus stadiums throughout the country that have been publicly funded by taxpayers who have had little to no input in the matter of funding such stadiums. In most cases those taxpayers have received no recognition for their funding of multi-million dollar stadiums. The NFL not only uses its fans and others to pay for its stadiums, but they attempt to defer any loyalty to their fan base by opposing laws that would protect the very fans that support them.

Organizations and big businesses should not be allowed to pursue public policy agendas at the expense of fans and consumers and Governor Abbott confirmed that when he 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.”

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Organizations such as the NFL or big businesses should be allowed to try to pursue public policy agendas at the expense of fans or consumers. Their success or failure should be based on the policy they are trying to change and its popularity among its fan or customer base.

However, large organizations should not be allowed to use their political influence to tilt the laws one way or the other to make it easier to achieve their objectives. In the case of the NFL warning Texas about transgender bathroom access, the NFL is within its rights to decide where to host the Super Bowl or any other NFL game for that matter.

This scenario is akin to individuals boycotting businesses to achieve certain outcomes. Most well-known are the Civil Rights-Era boycotts of racists business owners that helped bring about improved access to all businesses for African-Americans. Individuals grouped together to put financial pressure on a business that caused the owners to reassess their political views and business practices.

Having one business, in effect, boycott a state is just an inflated version of an economic boycott of local businesses by individual consumers. There is nothing wrong with lawfully bringing pressure to bear on a governing body to change a law that is perceived to be discriminatory. As long as fans are free to vote with their dollars whether the NFL is right or wrong on the issue, by refusing to watch football or buy tickets, it’s hard to see the NFL’s actions as blackmail.

The Texas state government can certainly consider the NFL’s position and weigh the loss of revenue from NFL-related activities with the perceived benefits to its citizens who have a stake in whatever laws are passed. If Texas resists the NFL’s pressure, they may experience some unexpected positive consequence from their law that offsets any financial loss they might incur from football. The bottom line is the voters of Texas always have recourse to get laws changed by voting in new legislators.

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-When did we become so obsessed with bathrooms? Has the urinal become the new battle line in the battle of the (multi) sexes? The conservatives bray and bruit about molesters masquerading as one sex or another in order to gain access to our innocent children, despite conclusive evidence that the great majority of child molesters are straight men who represent as straight. The liberals screech about the “right” everyone has to use the bathroom that fits with their mental attitude concerning their gender. So, presumably on a day I’m feeling in touch with my feminine side, I can use the ladies’ room. (Note: This never happens.)

That the NFL, that bastion of both masculinity and repressed homoerotic physical display, should be the group making the fuss makes it all the more hilarious. Given the garish costumes that dedicated fans wear to the games, it’s often hard to tell what species they are, much less their gender.

But the NFL is far from the first to try to impose its political will on the marketplace at the expense of its potential consumers. From CVS refusing to sell cigarettes (but still beer) to bakers refusing to make cakes for gay couples to Chic-fil-A closing on Sundays so its employees can go to church, these sorts of things are everywhere. The difference here is that the NFL frequently plays games in stadiums that are built, in whole or in part, with taxpayer money. If your business chooses to flog a particular political agenda, that’s fine, but do so in a “store” you pay for with your own money.

The NFL should be told that it’s up to states and local governments to make laws about who pees where, and keep their helmeted legal team out of the fray. Just hike the ball, pat each other on the butt, and try to cover the point spread.

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