Athlete Ally, an organization activating athletes to support LGBT inclusion and equality, launched #Final4Fairness, a campaign to raise awareness about the devastating effects of the recently signed anti-LGBT law in Indiana in an effort to have it repealed and stop the spread of other similar laws across the country.
The campaign spotlights the broad-based discriminatory nature of the law as we head into the NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four Championships, which takes place next week in Indianapolis.
This law could result in the refusal of service or discrimination against LGBT athletes, coaches, and sports fans. As Indiana is home to the NCAA and other major sports teams and events, the new law will have a direct negative impact on the state’s ability to host and cultivate athletics events in the future because it places many athletes in jeopardy and runs counter to the inclusive nature of organized sports.
“The Governor of Indiana has codified discrimination in a place that’s renowned for its leadership in athletics,” said Athlete Ally’s Founder & Executive Director, Hudson Taylor. “Now, the same state that’s home to the NCAA, the Final Four, and next year’s NFL Combine is a place where you can be turned away for being gay.”
“Lambda Legal, Athlete Ally and a majority of Hoosiers share the same core values of fairness and equality. With so many cities and states competing for conventions and major sports events, why would planners pick Indiana, a place where elected officials have chosen to treat businesses like churches, and to reject every amendment to protect the most basic of civil rights? Lambda Legal is proud to join the Final4Fairness Campaign,” Said Jim Bennett, Lambda Legal Midwest Regional Director.
Ashland Johnson, Athlete Ally’s Director of Policy, added: “Sports are a part of Indiana’s fabric, but now its laws no longer align with the core values of sportsmanship, which are inclusion and respect.”
Brendon Ayanbadejo, former NFL player and Athlete Ally Board Member, said: “When states take measures like this one, they are opening the door for LGBT people to be treated differently. This law compromises the respect that every person deserves; it’s unfortunate we’re about to go into this Final Four with a law like this on the books in Indiana.”
About Athlete Ally
Athlete Ally is a non-profit organization that educates and empowers the athletic community to take a stand against homophobia and transphobia in sports. Athlete Ally works with MLB, the NBA, and NBPA on player development and LGBT inclusion. It also co-wrote the NCAA’s LGBT policies and resource guides and partners with over a hundred professional athletes and college campuses to promote LGBT equality and respect.
About Lambda Legal
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
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