With Super Bowl At Stake, NFL Keeps Close Eye On Arizona’s Anti-Gay Bill

February 25, 2014 10:59 am

With Arizona scheduled to host the Super Bowl next year, the National Football League has warned state officials that it is monitoring what happens with the bill on Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk that would allow anti-LGBT discrimination.

According to the Arizona Capitol Times, an NFL spokesperson said that league policies “emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard.”

“We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time,” Greg Aiello, a league spokesperson, said in a statement.

The host committee for the 2015 Super Bowl, which is set to be played at the Arizona Cardinals’ home stadium, was more forthright: Brewer should veto the bill.

“We do not support this legislation. Instead, we look forward to continuing to promote the NFL’s values while focusing on the economic momentum apparent in Arizona and capturing the positive worldwide attention associated with hosting Super Bowl XLIX,” the committee said, according to the Capitol Times.

There is some precedent for Arizona losing a Super Bowl over controversial legislation. In 1993, the NFL moved the Super Bowl from Phoenix to Pasadena, Calif., after uproar over a state law that abolished Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a public holiday.

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