NAACP tells athletes to steer clear of Texas

At least someone is willing to take a stand.

The NAACP is urging professional athletes who are free agents to boycott Texas over recent restrictive voting and abortion laws as well as policies stopping local governments from enacting coronavirus containment measures, all of which the civil rights organization says “isn’t safe for anyone.”

“From abortion to voting rights and mask mandates, Texas has become a blueprint by legislators to violate constitutional rights for all, especially for women, children and marginalized communities,” wrote NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson in a letter to all major players’ associations.

The letter specifically called out the GOP elections bill that Gov. Greg Abbott signed last month; the virtual ban on abortions Abbott signed in May that’s being challenged at the U.S. Supreme Court; and Abbott’s executive orders blocking school districts from enforcing mask mandates.

“Texas lawmakers have destroyed the state’s moral compass by passing these laws. In return, we are asking that you seek employment with sports teams located in states that will protect, honor and serve your families with integrity,” Johnson wrote in the letter to the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB and NHL Players’ Associations.

You can see the letter here. On the one hand, we’re going to need as many people who oppose these things as we can get if we want to be able to vote these bastards out, and anyone who might heed this warning would presumably be on our side for that. On the other hand, people have to do what’s best for themselves and their families. I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to have to deal with this crap when they have other, better choices available to them. So thank you to the NAACP for calling attention to these issues. I’m still waiting for the NCAA to do its part.

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One Response to NAACP tells athletes to steer clear of Texas

  1. policywonqueria says:

    Re: “From abortion to voting rights and mask mandates, Texas has become a blueprint by legislators to violate constitutional rights for all, especially for women, children and marginalized communities,”

    Comment: Mushy talk, not much thought  

    ABORTION. Even assuming that Roe and Casey remain viable, the constitutional right concerning abortion is not a right of all, but only of women who have the ability to become pregnant, which is a subset of a class of persons defined by their biological sex. As such, abortion rights are sex-based rights. Partners in procreation, – fetus fathers if you will – have no say in the matter and are not recognized as rights holders. So, abortion rights are a matter of special or segmental rights, not universal ones. In the language of equal protection analysis, pregnant women are a specific class of persons.    

    VOTING RIGHTS. As much as the Republicans’ election administration reforms are repugnant from the perspective of democratic theory (because they make it harder to vote and curtail participation at least at the margins) and self-serving (because they think it will suppress turnout in their favor), that doesn’t automatically render the new voting law unconstitutional or violative of the Voting Rights Act in part, much less as a whole. And again, even voting rights are not rights of all, but only of citizens above the age 18. That is a subset of the population too. Short of lowering the voting age, children are not within the scope of election law reform, and cannot therefore be especially badly affected by changes in election administration.  

    MASK MANDATES AND BANS. If there is no governmental prohibition on wearing masks (but a prohibition on local mask mandates), how is it an individual rights issue, not to mention an issue of constitutional rights? As for Abbott’s GA-38, the legal issue is whether the ban on mask mandates is a valid exercise of gubernatorial powers under the Texas Disaster Act, and (secondarily) whether the Disaster Act itself is (un)constitutional to the extent it purport to authorize the delegation of power to the Governor to do what he did in GA-38, namely prohibit local governments from adopting disaster-containment measures, which runs counter to the essential purpose of the TDA.

    As horrible a gubernatorial policy as this may be, it doesn’t automatically and necessarily violate individual constitutional rights. And even on the statutory construction and separation-of-powers arguments (the latter being in the nature of a constitutional challenge, but not one based on individual constitutional rights) the Texas Supreme Court would have to be persuaded to rule against the Governor. For better or worse, they have the last word on meaning and proper application of state law. With vax policy, it’s similar. You are not prohibited from getting one, and there is no constitutional entitlement to be vaccinated in the first place. Much rather, the constitutional concern arises from being obligated by government (or private actors such as employer) to submit to vaccination against one’s will/preference.  

    Re: “Texas has become a blueprint.”

    Hardly so. First, an enacted statute is no longer a blueprint, which would be the underlying bill. But even leaving aside the matter of semantics (and enacted laws no longer being mere proposals), other states retain their ability to do as they wish within the federal system.

    If there is copy-catting, it is by choice, and statutory enactments elsewhere require legislative majorities in those other states just as they do in Texas. Texas and Texans can hardly be held accountable for what other states do – by way of public policy – through their political branches. Indeed, even the much-criticized Texas enactments do not necessarily have overwhelming support from the public in Texas. So why should all Texans be “blamed” for acts of the GOP-controlled State of Texas, not to mention collectively punished through a boycott?

    Finally, should sports now be thoroughly politicized too? … It’s concerning to say the least … for that development further divides society. 

    Which is not to say that the NAACP doesn’t have a first amendment right to advocate for bad ideas.

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