The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) plans to still hold its Final Four March Madness games in Indianapolis, Indiana despite Gov. Mike Pence’s (R) decision Thursday to pass a “religious freedom” bill that could allow businesses to refuse to serve same-sex couples because of religious objections.
“The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement on Thursday, which echoed a previous statement issued before Pence signed the bill. “We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees. We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce.”
Emmert’s statement came a few hours after Pence signed the bill into law. A number of businesses based in Indiana warned that there could be an exodus or other repercussions if Pence signed the law.