fbpx

NAACP advises players to ‘avoid Texas’ teams in free agency

Oct 7, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros mascot waves a flag after the Astros beat the Chicago White Sox in game one of the 2021 ALDS at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 7, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros mascot waves a flag after the Astros beat the Chicago White Sox in game one of the 2021 ALDS at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The NAACP released a letter Thursday strongly advising professional athletes to “avoid Texas” when choosing a place to play, citing what it termed as “archaic policies, disguised as laws” that have recently been put in place by the state government.

The letter was signed by president and CEO Derrick Johnson and sent to five pro leagues in North America — the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and WNBA — while also being posted on its official website. The site urged minority free agents to look away from Texas-based franchises when weighing future free agency decisions.

“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,” the letter begins. “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.

“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.”

The accompanying press release on the NAACP site called out recent decisions by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to sign controversial laws surrounding voting rights, abortion restrictions and congressional redistricting.

“The continued attacks on people of color in the state of Texas are reprehensible,” Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas NAACP, said in the release. “In the absence of federal action, advocates in Texas must stand together and use all of the tools at their disposal to ensure that basic human rights are delivered to the people of Texas. We must fight for our Constitution and the freedoms that it guarantees to all Americans.”

There are currently nine pro teams in Texas for the five leagues that received letters — the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans in the NFL; the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers in Major League Baseball; the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs in the NBA; the NHL’s Dallas Stars and the WNBA’s Dallas Wings.

–Field Level Media