Why These Athletes Are Opposing Texas's Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bill

Photo: Elaine Thompson/AP/REX/Shutterstock.
Greg Louganis, Brittney Griner, and 48 other amazing athletes aren't too happy with Texas right now. The state just took another step forward with SB6, the controversial "bathroom bill" that would require everyone use public bathrooms based on what was written on their birth certificates. Laws like these deny transgender people access to the bathrooms that match their gender, sending transgender men into women's restrooms and transgender women into the men's.
And these 50 athletes aren't having it. They all signed an open letter opposing the the bill, essentially telling Texas that the state can forget about their support if the bill passes.
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The letter was drafted by Athlete Ally, an organization started by former wrestling coach Hudson Taylor to fight against homophobia and transphobia in sports.
The letter is addressed to the entire state of Texas, not just the government, and begins with an appeal to a wide-spread love of sports in Texas. "It’s that passion – and the storied history of Texas athletics – that often makes the state a go-to destination for major sporting events and why we love to compete in the Lone Star state," the letter says.
But the support of SB6 (and 12 other anti-LGBT bills on file) make these athletes reconsider their Lone Star love.
"Texas is sending a clear signal that LGBT players, fans, coaches and administrators are not welcomed or respected, both on and off the field," the letter stated.
That's not okay with these athletes, and they low-key threatened Texas via the letter, saying that many major athletic events, like the NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four and the World Golf Championships, planned for Texas likely won't happen if the bill passes.
"A recent economic impact study showed that the local San Antonio economy will receive a boost of $135 million in direct spending as a result of hosting the Men’s Basketball Final Four," the letter stated. "Texas will likely not have the honor of hosting such prestigious events should bills like SB6 become law. This would be a shame for the state of Texas, but it can be avoided."
The letter urges Texans to "uphold the values of sport" — fair play, equality, inclusion and respect — and reject SB6.
This isn't the first letter Texas has gotten about the bill. A group of celebrities, including Laverne Cox and Ariana Grande, signed another letter last month. That letter didn't stop SB6 from passing in the state senate, but the combination at least tells Texas that celebrities, athletes, and all of us normals won't stay silent if the state chooses to take away transgender rights.
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