NAACP urges athletes not to play for Texas teams


The NAACP is asking professional athletes not to sign with teams in Texas on account of the state’s “archaic policies, disguised as laws.”

A letter from the civil rights organization was issued to the NFL, NBA, WNBA, NHL and MLB, according to a statement on the NAACP’s homepage. Texas has nine professional sports teams that would be impacted by the NAACP’s initiative including the Houston Astros, who are currently playing in baseball’s World Series.

In this Sept. 4, 2021 photo, Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian, center, joins players in singing “The Eyes of Texas” after an NCAA college football against Louisiana-Lafayette, in Austin, Texas. (Eric Gay/AP)

“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 statement said.

Though there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Texas, conservative lawmakers in the Lone Star State have moved to overhaul the electoral system in what they say are efforts to guard against chicanery.

The state is currently at odds with the Department of Justice over recently drafted anti-abortion measures that would prevent women from terminating a pregnancy after roughly six weeks, which is often before a person knows they’re pregnant. In March, the pandemic-battered state’s governor signed an order ending mask mandates, which limit the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The NAACP’s letter also stated that women, Black people and anyone wanting to lower their chances of dying from COVID should “avoid Texas.”

Professional athletes serve as some of our country’s greatest role models and we need them to join us to fight for democracy,” said NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson.

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