The NAACP is urging professional athletes to not sign with sports teams in Texas, citing the state’s recent abortion and voting rights restrictions, approval of controversial new redistricting maps for the state and recent executive actions against mask and vaccine mandates.


What You Need To Know

  • The NAACP wrote a letter urging professional athletes to not sign with sports teams in Texas
  • The letter cited citing the state’s recent abortion and voting rights restrictions, approving new redistricting maps for the state, which they say “dilute the political power of communities of color” and recent executive actions against mask and vaccine mandates
  • “If you are a woman, avoid Texas. If you are Black, avoid Texas,” the letter reads. “If you want to lower your chances of dying from coronavirus, avoid Texas”
  • There are nine Texas teams in the leagues mentioned in the letter: The WNBA’s Dallas Wings, the NHL’s Dallas Stars, the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, and the MLB’s Houston Astros, who are currently playing in the World Series, and the Texas Rangers

In a two-page open letter to players associations for Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League, the organization urges potential free agents in those leagues to “reconsider moving their families to a state that is not safe for anyone.”

The news of the letter was first reported by ABC News.

“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,” the letter, signed by NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and NAACP Texas President Gary Bledsoe, reads. “I ask you to use your influence to help protect the constitutional rights of each individual at risk.”

“When all else fails, we must look within and answer the call to protect the basic human rights and democratic values which are fundamental to this country,” Johnson said in a statement. “Professional athletes serve as some of our country’s greatest role models and we need them to join us to fight for democracy.”

The letter comes in the aftermath of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott approving new redistricting maps for the state, which they say “dilute the political power of communities of color.” The maps are already being challenged in court by voting rights advocates, alleging that the newly redrawn maps disenfranchise the vote of communities of color after population growth in Texas was driven overwhelmingly by Hispanic, Black and Asian American people.

Texas is gaining two seats in the House of Representatives thanks to a population boom recorded in the 2020 census.

“The continued attacks on people of color in the state of Texas are reprehensible,” Bledsoe said in a statement. “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.”

In recent months, the state has enacted the nation’s most restrictive abortion law — known as S.B. 8 — which bans nearly all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks, before some women know they are pregnant. Texas has also signed into law a restrictive voting bill, and Gov. Abbott has signed orders banning vaccine and mask mandates in recent months.

“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 continues. 

“Over the past few months, legislators in Teaxs 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,” the authors wrote. 

“If you are a woman, avoid Texas. If you are Black, avoid Texas,” the letter continues. “If you want to lower your chances of dying from coronavirus, avoid Texas.”

There are nine Texas teams in the leagues mentioned in the letter: The WNBA’s Dallas Wings, the NHL’s Dallas Stars, the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, and the MLB’s Houston Astros, who are currently playing in the World Series, and the Texas Rangers.

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)

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