The fate of the controversial Texas “bathroom bill” is yet to be decided, but the Dallas Stars and the NHL have already taken a firm stance against it. The bill, which was created with the intent of regulating which bathroom transgender individuals could use based on their birth certificate, has been a divisive topic. Many feel that it isn’t accepting of the LGBTQ community – a community the NHL has publicly tried to support.
The NHL has already stated that should the bill pass, they will “reassess” hosting the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas.
“We strongly oppose the bill in its original form,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Sportsnet in an email Wednesday afternoon. “We hope and expect that bill in that form will not be passed into law. We would obviously have to reassess the situation in the event that happens.”
Many businesses have come out against the bill, but the NHL is the first professional sports league to voice its opposition.
The NHL’s stance against the bill shouldn’t be a surprise even after their confusing, stupid decision to not suspend Ryan Getzlaf following his use of a homophobic slur during the playoffs last year. That big misstep aside, the NHL has had a recent history which supports the LGBTQ community. The league prominently supports the You Can Play Project which aims to have athletes judged based on their skill and work ethic, not on their sexual orientation or identity. However, it is worth noting that the NHL still hasn’t had its first openly gay athlete.
The Dallas Stars and the NHL should be commended for their opposition of the bill, but it remains to be seen whether or not they’ll follow through with moving the draft should the bill pass.