HOUSTON – The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) sent a letter to player associations in five professional sports on Thursday asking players to reconsider signing with teams in Texas due to recent laws passed in the state.
In a two-page letter signed by NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, which was sent to the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and WNBA players’ associations, the organization pointed to recent laws on abortions, voting rights. and masking mandates during the coronavirus pandemic. as reasons to avoid joining teams in Texas.
“If you are considering signing in Texas, I ask that you ensure that the owners meet their responsibility to protect you, the athlete and your family,” the letter says. “I ask that you use your influence to help protect the constitutional rights of each individual at risk.”
In May, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an abortion law that bans procedures after six weeks of pregnancy. In September, Abbott signed a bill that significantly tightened voting laws. Earlier this month, Abbott also issued an executive order banning vaccine requirements in Texas.
“In recent months, Texas lawmakers have passed archaic policies, disguised as laws, that directly violate women’s privacy rights and freedom of choice, restrict access to free and fair elections for black and brown voters, and increase the risk of contracting coronavirus, “the letter says.
In the five leagues mentioned by the NAACP in the letter, there are nine teams: Houston Astros and Texas Rangers in MLB, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs in NBA, Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys in NFL, Dallas Stars in the NHL and the Dallas Wings in the WNBA.
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NAACP asks athletes not to sign with Texas teams