Texas 'bathroom bill' could put future Super Bowls at risk

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The comments, which come after Houston hosted Super Bowl LI on Sunday, appear to be the most critical by the league yet of legislation that has become a focal point in USA culture wars.

Texas' bill, titled the "Privacy Protection Act", bars transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice in many buildings, blocks local non-discrimination ordinances that protect transgender people in public accommodations, and prohibits local municipalities from considering such protections when awarding contracts.

"The NFL embraces inclusiveness".

Lawmakers in Texas and 13 other states now have introduced so-called "bathroom bills", which supporters say help protect privacy and safety but opponents argue target an already marginalized group in USA society.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a Republican who is the main backer of the Texas bathroom bill, has downplayed talk that the state's economy would suffer if the measure became law. It is unclear how the legislation, should it pass, would affect the NCAA's future plans.

"This legislation will needlessly jeopardize jobs, investment, innovation and tax revenue for our state, and it sullies our reputation as an open, inclusive and welcoming state", Texas Association of Business President Chris Wallace said in a statement in January.

The loss of the Super Bowl in any given year could be worth just as much.

Technically, the NFL's inclusivity policy would not be affected by SB 6.

"Despite persistent misinformation in the media, under Senate Bill 6, all Texas teams will be able to set their own policies at the stadiums and arenas where they play and hold their events", Patrick spokesman Alejandro Garcia said in a statement.

Now, as Texas prepares to potentially enact Senate Bill 6, the National Football League itself is taking a surprisingly strong stance against this potential legislation. Day as a holiday, the league moved the event to California. Houston has now hosted the Super Bowl three times, and Arlington has hosted the game once (and with that venue in Arlington, it is likely it both places will host the Super Bowl again in the future, multiple times).

But despite the NFL's concerns, football could be safe in Texas for many Super Bowls to come.