No Star State
NAACP president Derrick Johnson urged all pro free agents, in a letter sent to all major players associations on Thursday, to avoid signing with any team 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," Johnson and NAACP Texas president Gary Bledsoe wrote to the players associations for the NFL, WNBA, NBA, MLB, and NHL. "We must stand up for what is right and protect our loved ones from the dangerous attacks on freedoms taking place in Texas."
The NAACP specifically cites Texas' effective six-week abortion ban, its recently enacted voting restrictions, Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) battles to ban COVID-19 masking and vaccine requirements, and the newly signed congressional district maps.
"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," Johnson and Bledsoe wrote. "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 lawmakers have destroyed the state's moral compass by passing these laws," the letter concludes. "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."
Texas is home to several prominent pro sport teams, including the Houston Astros, who are currently playing in the World Series.