The NBA and Indiana Pacers are taking a stand against Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The controversial bill, which gives individuals or businesses the right to use their religious beliefs as a defense for discriminating against gays and lesbians, is not something the league and a number of its players plan to support.
This weekend, the NBA, WNBA, the Pacers and Indiana Fever released a joint statement speaking up for inclusion and against the new law.
“The game of basketball is grounded in long established principles of inclusion and mutual respect. We will continue to ensure that all fans, players and employees feel welcome at all NBA and WNBA events in Indiana and elsewhere," the statement said, as reported by Huffington Post.
Added Herb Simon, owner of the Pacers and Fever: “The Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and Bankers Life Fieldhouse have the strongest possible commitment to inclusion and non-discrimination on any basis. Everyone is always welcome at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That has always been the policy from the very beginning of the Simon family’s involvement and it always will be."
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act opens the door to discrimination from individuals and business owners against same-sex couples, as well as racial discrimination.
Hall of Famer and former Pacers great Reggie Miller spoke out about the issue on Twitter.
"I've never been big into politics but I'm very disappointed in my adopted home state of Indiana and the passing of Senate Bill 101...I've always been about inclusion for all, no matter your skin color, gender, or sexual preference," Miller tweeted. "We are all the same people, beautiful creatures."
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(Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)