The Dallas Stars became the first professional sports team to publicly oppose Texas’ proposed “bathroom bill.”
Texas governor Greg Abbot is trying to pass legislation that would undo city ordinances that protect transgender individuals’ right to use facilities that match their gender identity and force them to use restrooms that match their biological sex. Stars president Jim Lites released a statement Thursday to tell state legislators that the team won’t stand for it.
“When the Stars moved to Dallas in 1993 we were fortunate to encounter success early on, and we’ve cultivated what we consider to be the best fan base in the National Hockey League,” Lites said, per the Dallas Morning News. “Dallas was warm and welcoming when we came to this great city 25 years ago, and it remains so today.
“The Dallas Stars stands strongly opposed to any legislation perceived as discriminatory, including proposed bathroom legislation. We welcome fans from all over the globe, and our roster boasts players from half a dozen countries. Dallas welcomes all, and we welcome all.”
Houston Texans owner Bob McNair and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have spoken out against the bill, but Lites is the first to do so on behalf of his team. Legislation like Texas’ proposed law puts teams at risk of losing out on marquee events like Super Bowls, drafts and All-Star Games, as was clear when the NBA moved its All-Star Game this season from Charlotte to New Orleans over a similar bill in North Carolina.
The Stars are scheduled to host the 2018 NHL draft.
“We’re thrilled that Dallas will host the NHL draft next year and we’re grateful that the NHL sees the true Dallas that we know and love, a Dallas that is friendly and vibrant,” Lites said. “Dallas will be a wonderful host city and we’re grateful for the NHL’s business. We are proud of our home and want every visitor to feel at home, too, and that’s why we oppose this discriminatory bathroom legislation.”
Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images
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