360° Coverage : The NFL Needs To Step Up To Arizona's "Religious...

2 Updates

The NFL Needs To Step Up To Arizona's "Religious Freedom" Bill

Feb 23 2014, 11:21am CST | by

by Arthur L. Caplan & Lee H. IgelThe NYU Sports & Society Program/> Michael Sam, meet Hank Aaron. During his Major League Baseball career with the Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves, and...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

34 weeks ago

The NFL Needs To Step Up To Arizona's "Religious Freedom" Bill

Feb 23 2014, 11:21am CST | by

by Arthur L. Caplan & Lee H. Igel
The NYU Sports & Society Program/>

Michael Sam, meet Hank Aaron.

During his Major League Baseball career with the Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves, and Milwaukee Brewers from 1954-1976, “Hammerin’ Hank” amassed 755 home runs and 3,771 hits, and was named to 25 All-Star squads. Those and other achievements put him on a road to being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and ranked fifth on The Sporting News list of “100 Greatest Baseball Players of the Twentieth Century.” But his road to the majors leagues took a major detour when it came to eating in restaurants.

Jackie Robinson had broken the color barrier by the time Aaron arrived in the big leagues in the early 1950s. But, as Aaron later said, “Jackie Robinson started opening up our eyes. But it didn’t start, nor did it end, with Jackie.” That “it” meant “discrimination.”

Coming up through the Milwaukee Braves minor league system, Aaron was one of three minority players on a team based in Jacksonville, FL and traveling to games throughout the southeastern United States. Although the team was integrated, Aaron and fellow farmhands Felix Mantilla and Horace Garner knew that most restaurants were not. Time and again, they would not be served when the team showed up for a meal on the road. A few of their teammates stood up to make sure they ate. Many did not. Nor did others, including league officials.

Could Sam, the University of Missouri All-American football player and top draft prospect who is likely to be the first openly gay player in the NFL, come up on a similar road as Aaron did? He might, if a bill now making its way from the Arizona legislature to the governor’s desk is signed into law.

That bill, which legislators gave final approval on this past Thursday, provides changes to existing state laws having to do with religious freedom, including an expansion of who is protected under those laws. It would effectively allow a business owner to deny service to customers when such work violates their religious beliefs. And if a discrimination lawsuit were to emerge as a result, the business owner would have a defense by providing that the decision was motivated by “sincerely held” religious beliefs and that giving such service would have substantially burdened the exercise of those beliefs.

Critics of the bill see it as a license to discriminate against certain people, particularly those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. They are right. This is simply revisiting the Jim Crow South in a different guise—skin color is now sexual preference.

The bill is flat out immoral, most likely unconstitutional, and mind-bogglingly biased. If that’s not enough on its face, imagine a football player having to stay on the bus out in the parking lot when his team shows up at a restaurant for a meal or at a stadium for a game.

Nowadays, most teammates wouldn’t stand for that. They would just as well go hungry than patronize the restaurant or refuse to enter the stadium for the game. Or they would have to go into the restaurant hoping that the staff would agree to prepare a takeout meal or arrive at the stadium hoping law enforcement doesn’t block the bus. Make no mistake: these are the kinds of dimensions being set up if Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona, signs the bill into law.

As things stand today, the NFL has plans for the upcoming Super Bowl to be played in Arizona. Unlike MLB of yesteryear, the NFL has been making nice noises about welcoming Michael Sam into its stadiums. So, the league needs to flex its muscles and tell the state that it won’t be coming there if officials pass laws allowing businesses to deny service to customers on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, or gender preference for a mate. For the NFL and all professional and college sports leagues that are encouraging diversity, not doing so means simply being politically correct in rhetoric but not behavior.

Let’s face it: the Governor of Arizona is thinking about signing into law a form of legalized discrimination. The NFL and every other league with a team in Arizona should not wait to see what she does. It shouldn’t take images of Hank Aaron eating alone or with his fellow minority teammates to get them all to say, together and loudly, that this is unacceptable. If anything, it’s the Arizona legislators—not people like Michael Sam—who ought to end up eating out in the parking lot.

Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, is the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and head of the Division of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center. Lee H. Igel, PhD, is associate professor in the Tisch Center at New York University. Both are affiliated with NYU’s Sports and Society Program.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the workforc ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and M ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Nigerian parliament approves $1 bn loan to fight Boko Haram
Lagos, Oct 23 (IANS) The Nigerian House of Representatives Wednesday approved President Goodluck Jonathan's request to borrow not more than one billion dollars to tackle the security challenges facing the country.
 
 
Kenya to train 30,000 health workers on Ebola
Nairobi, Oct 23 (IANS) Kenya has plans to train 30,000 health workers on Ebola screening, prevention, control and case management, the health ministry said Wednesday.
 
 
Germany pledges additional five mn euros to fight Ebola
Berlin, Oct 22 (IANS) Germany Wednesday said it would provide over five million euros ($6 million) in additional funds to promote Ebola research.
 
 
Indian-origin student named America's Top Young Scientist
Washington, Oct 22 (IANS) Sahil Doshi, a 14-year-old Indian-American student has won the 2014 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for his innovative, eco-friendly battery design that could help lower harmful greenhouse gases.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

European Champions League standings
Paris, Oct 22 (IANS) Following are the European Champions League standings for Groups E to H after Tuesday's matches (tabulated under matches played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, against, points), according to Xinhua...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Rogerio set to break Giggs world record
Rio de Janeiro, Oct 22 (IANS) Sao Paulo goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni is one victory away from earning his fourth Guinness World Record by eclipsing a mark held by Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs. The 41-year-old will...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ryan Reynolds can't keep his hands off Blake Lively
Ryan Reynolds was ''really sweet'' to Blake Lively at the Angel City Ball. The couple, who got married in September 2012, made their first red carpet appearance together in New York City on Monday night (10.20.14) since...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kris Jenner doesn't know who Bruce Jenner is dating
Kris Jenner has ''no idea'' whether Bruce Jenner is dating her best friend. The 58-year-old reality TV star, who split from the Olympic gold medallist last October after 23 years of marriage, claims she doesn't know if...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
When Rihanna dressed like 'Harry Potter'
New York, Oct 22 (IANS) Singer Rihanna was spotted here in a Harry Potter style costume. She wore the wizard-like get-up while heading for a business meal here Monday, reports mirror.co.uk. The 26-year-old combined a...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Germany raises humanitarian aid to Iraq
Berlin, Oct 22 (IANS) Germany has pledged a further 20 million euros (about 25.5 million dollars) in humanitarian aid to Iraq, the foreign ministry said in a statement Tuesday. The additional funds are immediately...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
India calls on Israel, Palestine to resume peace process
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) India has called upon Israelis and Palestinians to resume the peace process as "dialogue remains the only viable option" to address the issues confronting the region. In a brief statement...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Airstrikes help ground forces fight IS: Pentagon
Washington, Oct 22 (IANS) Kurdish forces are in control of the majority of the Syrian city of Kobane despite efforts by the Islamic State (IS) to take the town, a spokesperson for US defence department said Tuesday....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Palestine, Israel urged at UN to halt unilateral initiatives
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon Tuesday called on Palestine and Israel to overcome differences and halt unilateral initiatives that fuel mistrust, so as to pursue long-term stability in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
China urges Israel to create conditions for peace
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) Chinese government has called on Israel to create necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks with Palestine. At an open debate of the Security Council on the situation of the...
Read more on Politics Balla