The debate about reproductive rights and CRT (Critical Race Theory) has reached a fever pitch in Texas, forcing the local NAACP to urge pro athletes to reconsider bringing their talents to the Lone Star state.
According to CBS Austin, the NAACP sent a letter to every professional sports players’ association in the country, in an attempt to spotlight Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to diminish the power of voters of color. In the letter, signed by NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, players are asked to seek employment with teams located in “states that will protect, honor and serve your families with integrity.”
“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 writes.
“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.”
Wise words, if any.
And as the message went out to players associations across the sports world — from the NFL to the WNBA and NBA and to the MLB and NHL — the letter directly attacks the Texas abortion law, which bans abortions as early as six weeks and allows private citizens to sue anyone who performs an abortion or helps someone get an abortion for $10,000.
“As a result [of this ban], physicians can’t uphold their Hippocratic Oath to properly and ethically care for women and children. Texas families will not receive the care they deserve because state legislators have issued a modern-day bounty in exchange for the health and safety of women and children. By passing this law, Texas legislators have created a healthcare institution that isn’t safe for anyone,” says Johnson.
Citing the influential power that athletes have in today’s sports culture, Johnson urges athletes to use it to help protect themselves and their loved ones.
“It is time we take this situation into our own hands and stand up for what is right,” says Johnson. “It is up to those with a voice to stand up for the women in our lives, to protect our children and our fellow citizens. If you are considering signing in Texas, I ask you to ensure that owners are upholding their responsibility of protecting you, the athlete, and your family. I ask you to use your influence to help protect the constitutional rights of each individual at risk.”
At the end of the letter, Johnson reiterates his wish for athletes to look beyond Texas for employment. Claiming the state is “dangerous” and calling on Texas owners to invest in the athlete’s safety.
“We are now pleading with you — if you are a free agent and are considering employment in Texas, look elsewhere. The Texas government will not protect your family. Demand that Texas owners invest in your rights and protect your investments. Texas is not safe for you, your spouse, or your children. Until the legislation is overturned, Texas isn’t safe for anyone.”