As Republican Gov. Nathan Deal considers "religious freedom" legislation that would open the door to businesses denying service to LGBT people, the National Football League issued a statement saying Atlanta could lose the chance to host a Super Bowl.
The statement was issued to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and came from league spokesman Brian McCarthy:
“NFL policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard. Whether the laws and regulations of a state and local community are consistent with these policies would be one of many factors NFL owners may use to evaluate potential Super Bowl host sites.”
Atlanta is in the midst of building a new stadium for its team, the Falcons, with hopes of luring lucrative Super Bowl games. The team's owner has already come out publicly against Georgia House Bill 757, the legislation some refer to as the "license to discriminate bill," since it would allow businesses, nonprofits, and individuals to turn away LGBT people and others by citing religious grounds.
Other Georgia-related businesses, like Hilton and Coca-Cola, already objected to an earlier version of House Bill 757.