A verbal skirmish broke out between the NFL and Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, with Abbott warning the league that it’s “walking on thin ice” when it wades into politics.
ESPN reports that battle lines are taking shape over the state’s consideration of a “bathroom bill” aimed at transgender people. Abbott lashed out at what he saw as a threat to deprive the state of future Super Bowls if it passes the measure.
The most recent Super Bowl was held in Houston earlier this month.
“On Friday, in response to an email question about the Texas bill, which was filed last month, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said: ‘If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events,'” ESPN reports.
Abbott, who has criticized the NFL for allowing players to kneel during the national anthem, responded with harsh words for the league, saying: “The NFL needs to concentrate on playing football and get the heck out of politics.”
“Abbott, a Republican, told conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday that the NFL ‘is walking on thin ice’ with its veiled threat,” ESPN notes.
Abbott added: “For some low-level NFL adviser to come out and say that they are going to micromanage and try to dictate to the state of Texas what types of policies we’re going to pass in our state, that’s unacceptable.
“We don’t care what the NFL thinks and certainly what their political policies are because they are not a political arm of the state of Texas or the United States of America. They need to learn their place in the United States, which is to govern football, not politics.”