DudeYouPolitickin: The NCAA Has A Chance to Actually Get Something Right
We can do something wrong a thousand times but there will always be that one time where we fall over bass-ackwards into doing the right thing.
The NCAA has that chance this week in Indiana.
If you have ears and live on Earth you have probably heard about Indiana’s freshly minted “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” which was recently signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence. I say you’ve heard about it because it caused a backlash rivaled only by that time people couldn’t see a dress was black and blue. [WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOUR EYES]
Those on the left decried the possibilities for blatant discrimination, particularly against the LGBT community, the vaguely written law would allow. Those on the right didn’t appreciate being called discriminatory and insisted that this was about protecting religious freedom. Those in the center either got outraged by the decline of decent political rhetoric or outraged over the fact that there is outrage on the internet at all.
Into this wondrously volatile powder-keg of political discourse stepped the hero we never deserved or needed, the NCAA.
While you might imagine this would have only made things worse, the NCAA actually had some good things to say about the situation and seems poised to affect the passing of major revisions to the RFRA. Those revisions, according to the Indiana Star, were put on Mike Pence’s desk this morning and would explicitly protect against discrimination against LGBT folk in Indiana.
Speaking to the New York Times, Mark Emmert, President of the NCAA, said the following: “We communicated our deep concern for our ability to maintain a diverse work force and also to support our own membership values.” Now that might seem like a bit of a weak quote but it has to have the Indiana legislature pretty rattled seeing as the NCAA has its headquarters in Indianapolis and Indianapolis will also host the Men’s and Women’s Final Fours this year and next year. If Indiana can’t find a way to assure Emmert and the NCAA that their employees won’t be the victims of discrimination in their home state then it would seem the NCAA has cause to move elsewhere. Furthermore, and this is what really terrifies Governor Pence, this would mean that the NCAA has cause to move the Final Four out of Indiana permanently. That’s a lot of money flying out the door.
The NFL–committed to being the amoral mayonnaise sandwich that doesn’t really care what you do so long as you make them money–has declined to comment on whether or not the Combine, Super Bowl, or Franchise known as the “Colts” will still remain in Indianapolis or not.
Now, my vitriol in that last sentence probably clues you in to my opinion on the law. It is obviously just my opinion and you can have your own about the law or its implications. Just so we’re clear though, my opinion is that the law was a really poorly timed effort to pass legislation that wasn’t really necessary, and then the legislation that was passed was so damn vague as to allow for the possibility of a great many things that none of us want to see, like discrimination against LGBT people. And no matter what political party you belong to, I think we can all agree that if you give human beings license to do bad stuff there will be at least one asshole who does that bad thing.
So the NCAA, even though they are all about doing lots of bad bad things, has this one chance to actually do something right and leverage their money-making machine’s power to get some needed protections passed so that everyone is happy. Religious people (like me, btw) will be able to freely practice their religion without interference (even though they could probably do that anyway) and LGBT people won’t get discriminated against (even though there will still be jerks that do that anyway cuz they’re jerks).
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I fully support what the NCAA is doing in this situation.
I know it’s April Fools but I really mean that.
Ok, I’m gonna go shower now.
P.S. if I’ve offended you because I disagreed with you politically I encourage you to go look at these puppy pictures as they will make you feel better. Lots of love for you, reader. Please come back.