NAACP calls on athletes not to sign with Texas teams due to recent legislation

HOUSTON -- On Thursday, the NAACP wrote to five professional sports players associations asking them to reconsider signing with Texas teams due to recent Texas laws.
The NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson signed a two-page note that was sent to the MLB and NBA, NFL and NHL players' associations. It cited recent laws regarding abortions, voting rights, and mask mandates during a coronavirus pandemic to explain why they were not interested in joining Texas teams.

The letter says, "If you're considering signing in Texas," I ask that you use your influence to protect each individual at-risk's constitutional rights.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an abortion law in May. Greg Abbott signed an abortion law banning procedures after six weeks. Abbott signed a bill in September that substantially tightened voting laws. Abbott issued an executive order in September that prohibited Texas from requiring vaccines.

The letter states that Texas legislators have adopted archaic policies disguised as laws over the past few months. These policies directly violate privacy rights and women's freedom of choice, limit access to fair and free elections for Black voters, and increase the chance of contracting coronavirus.

The NAACP mentioned five Texas leagues in its letter: the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, in MLB; the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, and San Antonio Spurs, in the NBA; the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, and Houston Texans in the NFL; the Dallas Stars, in NHL; and the Dallas Wings, in WNBA.