The NAACP wants athletes to reconsider signing with Texas professional sports teams, including the WNBA’s Dallas Wings, due to recent laws that have been passed in the state.
In a two-page letter signed by NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson, the group urged players’ associations from five different professional leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, WNBA) to consider their petition.
#Breaking NAACP Urges Professional Athletes In Free Agency to #AvoidTexashttps://t.co/CNWQ9Es61N— NAACP (@NAACP) October 28, 2021
#Breaking NAACP Urges Professional Athletes In Free Agency to #AvoidTexashttps://t.co/CNWQ9Es61N
The NAACP reminded free agents to consider the influence of their platforms as professional athletes.
“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. “Professional athletes serve as some of our country’s greatest role models and we need them to join us to fight for democracy.”
The organization pointed to recent laws on abortions, voting rights and mask mandates as reasons to avoid signing with teams in Texas.
In May, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law an abortion bill that bans procedures after six weeks of pregnancy. Then in September, Abbott signed a bill that tightened voting laws and later issued an executive order banning vaccine requirements in the state.
Among the nine Texas teams the NAACP mentions in the letter are the Wings.
Dallas finished the 2021 season seventh in the WNBA at 14-18. The youngest team in the league, the Wings lost in the first round of the WNBA playoffs to the Chicago Sky, who went on to win it all.
“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,” the letter continued.
“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.”