USC athletic director Pat Haden tweeted Tuesday that he will skip the College Football Playoff selection committee meeting this week in Indianapolis to protest the state’s new “religious freedom” bill.
“I am the proud father of a gay son,” Haden wrote. “In his honor, I will not be attending the CFP committee meeting in Indy this week. #EmbraceDiversity”
The divisive Indiana law prevents the government from compelling citizens to do things they object to on religious grounds. Critics say the law allows people to discriminate against gays and other groups in the name of religion.
The law, which goes into effect in July, has gotten quite a bit of pushback inside and outside Indiana. NCAA president Mark Emmert recently spoke out against the bill.
“This is an issue of extraordinary importance to all of us,” Emmert said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” The NCAA is headquartered in Indianapolis, and the men’s March Madness Final Four basketball games are being staged in the city this weekend.
“It’s important to us because we’re an employer here in this state. But most importantly … it strikes at the core values” of inclusion and diversity,” he said.
Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley also notably spoke out against the law.
ESPN commentator Keith Olbermann says sports should pave the way against prejudice.