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NFL Warns Georgia About New "Religious Freedom" Bill

  1. wilderness profile image96
    wildernessposted 8 months ago

    Seems the NFL has warned Georgia about passing a new bill designed to protect those that discriminate against gays.  They have warned that Atlanta would likely not have any chance at the super bowl should the bill be signed into law.  (It has passed both houses and awaits the governor's signature).

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nfl-warns-s … d=22482990

    A pretty clear attempt by a major organization with lots and lots of money to buy legislation (or prevent it in this case), something we all seem to decry and complain about.

    So do we still abhor such actions by the rich when the law is a very bad one in our opinion?  Is it OK to use huge amounts of money to buy "good" laws and prohibit "bad" ones (who, outside of the organization or company with the money, decides what is good and bad, what can be bought and what cannot)?  Or should we still be still be complaining that it is wrong, that money cannot buy laws the wealthy like?

    A conundrum - what's your opinion?

    1. GA Anderson profile image86
      GA Andersonposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      I think both the NFL and the state have the luxury of choice regarding this issue. The only conundrum I see would involve someone's search to rationalize their condemnation of one side over the other.

      GA

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 8 months ago in reply to this

        Is there a real difference, then, between this and a large corporation "buying" a new law to cut their taxes?

        1. GA Anderson profile image86
          GA Andersonposted 8 months ago in reply to this

          The NFL is a large corporation. Do you see something wrong with someone, (or a corporation of someones), trying to influence, (buy), improvements to their environment?

          GA

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 8 months ago in reply to this

            As long as I agree with that environmental change, no.  If they wish to lower their tax rate (environment), probably.  If they wish to discriminate against a segment of the population, absolutely.

            Which is kind of the point - we'll all say it's great that they are dong this, but when the change is something we don't like (lowering their taxes, or the reverse of this specific case) we'll scream to high heaven and demonize Big Money or Giant Corporations for using their financial power.  Is that reasonable?

    2. Live to Learn profile image82
      Live to Learnposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      I don't see it as attempting to buy anything. Yes, they are trying to throw their weight around but I would think if a religious conviction could be swayed by the thought of not being able to host a super bowl it isn't really a religious conviction. They're going to look pretty strange if they cave in. I'm sure they realize this.

      As to your question though. I suppose it could be argued that it is similar to a corporation attempting to sway legislation to their favor but where is the favor involved? Does the NFL stand to suffer if they can't have a super bowl hosted in Atlanta? Do they gain if they do? It sounds to me as if the NFL is making a moral stand against the moral stand GA thinks it is making.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 8 months ago in reply to this

        Yes, it seems a moral conviction.  Does that make a difference - that it is a moral question rather than financial?  What if the moral (gays are evil) was something you disagreed with?  Would it still be fine to use large amounts of money to obtain laws supporting it?

        1. Live to Learn profile image82
          Live to Learnposted 8 months ago in reply to this

          Maybe I don't know all of the facts. Other than state that a Super Bowl would not likely be held in Atlanta if that law was passed, has any money been spent by the NFL to attempt to change the fate of the bill?

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 8 months ago in reply to this

            No; rather than spend money to defeat it, they threaten to withhold vast sums of money flowing into the state from the superbowl.  Did you know they have a sales tax exemption already, one that cost the state some 10 million dollars (if the bowl goes there)?  That's a lot of dough to give up, and you can bet the state figures on not only recouping every penny but many times that much.  That part is much like a business getting an exemption or straight tax write off for building a new factory in a specific location, which is rather common (and ridiculous, but that's another tale).  I just mention it to give some idea of the amount of money Georgia will lost if they don't get the bowl game.  The size of the "sword" (bribe) the NFL is holding over them to force what they want to see.

            1. Live to Learn profile image82
              Live to Learnposted 8 months ago in reply to this

              So. Let me get this straight. You think that they (the NFL) should not look at the laws, policies and customs of anywhere they are going to consider allowing to hold a venue. And, if they do look at the laws, thus finding that being there might be detrimental to their image, harm their brand and possibly otherwise cause them a loss of income or endanger any sub segment of their fanbase they have an obligation to not look at those factors when determining where to hold a game because concessions have been given to them previously and their failure to award a Super Bowl game to that particular area will cause a loss of income to the businesses located there.

              I'm in a quandary here. They haven't invested any money in an attempt to change a law. They are simply saying they will not do business in an area which creates such a law. I don't know that businesses have an obligation to do business in any area. It's no different from a business saying it doesn't like gays (Chick fil A).

              I honestly don't know what to think. I think they have a right to make a statement. I doubt that scenario came up during negotiations for concessions. If it had and they said it would be no problem then I suppose they are in the wrong.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                Personally, I applaud their stance and cheer for it to work.  For the governor to refuse to sign the bill into law.

                I also hate that Chick fil A has taken the opposite stance, and when the Mormon church invested millions into the effort to defeat the California bill to legalize gay marriage I was incensed.  They tried to buy a negative vote with their money and I hated that.  I cheered when they failed and it wasn't just that the law passed anyway.  It was that all the money of the church failed them in something they should not have been doing anyway.

                Isn't that a little hypocritical?  A corporation that tries to use Big Money to force legislation they like is OK...when I agree with the stance being taken.  But when it against what I think is "right" it is deplorable, nothing but "lobbying", using their huge financial power to create law.  Does that make more sense?  True, the Mormon church thing was a little different in that they didn't go directly to politicians or the state, but the basic idea is still there just as it is with Chick fil A.

                1. Live to Learn profile image82
                  Live to Learnposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                  I think businesses have a right to make a statement. Not to spend money in lobbying efforts to push their agenda. I don't applaud when they push agendas I like. It's wrong for them to attempt to influence policy.

                  1. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                    Now you're losing me!  How is "making a statement" (using their enormous wealth to push an agenda) any different than "attempting to influence policy"?  I would have said they are the same thing.

    3. rhamson profile image77
      rhamsonposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      It is funny that the NFL is taking such an interest in this topic. Is it out of moral outrage? Where were they when their players were sustaining brain damage and death from playing the game? Are they now a moral compass for us?

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 8 months ago in reply to this

        Are they a moral compass, and if so is it all right to buy legislation with their resources?  What if they took the opposite stance - "We'll come if the bill becomes law"?  Would we be angry about such "lobbying", finding it no different than lobbying for a tax break and thus wrong?

  2. wilderness profile image96
    wildernessposted 8 months ago

    Nobody has a thought on this?  Too clear cut and obvious an answer, too murky and unsolvable or just don't care?

  3. RJ Schwartz profile image91
    RJ Schwartzposted 8 months ago

    I think it demonstrates to what length the gay-lobby will go to advance their agenda.  By using professional sports as a sounding board/bargaining tool, and the revenues that come with it, it most certainly is coercion. I think the NFL on the other hand is simply pandering by even considering such a thought.  It's detestable.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      Not sure how the gay lobby got into it - I've never heard that the NFL is just one of their tools before.

      But do you find ANY business buying ANY law to be objectionable?  Or is using your money just another acceptable tool, even for Big Business and we should quit griping when it happens?

    2. Paul Wingert profile image79
      Paul Wingertposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      Gay agenda? Or do you mean a minority who simply want to be treated like everyone else? Was the civil rights movement in the 60's referred to as the black agenda? Homophobes, especially those living backward southern church/states that continue to be an embarrassment to the rest of the nation need to simply grow up and get over themselves!

      1. Kathleen Cochran profile image86
        Kathleen Cochranposted 8 months ago in reply to this

        backward southern church/states  - This is the state where I live and go to an evangelical church, so I want to go on the record as one of many people here who are just as opposed as anyone to legislating the right to be prejudiced against any particular group of people.  The Governor said during the legislative session that he would veto such a bill.  The typical sorry politicians we all suffer with took that as permission to satisfy their primarily conservative base by passing the bill through both houses.  They are cowards.  Now it is up to the lame duck governor to do the right thing and take the hit from some (not all) evangelicals alone.  I only hope - like many others - that he will.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 8 months ago in reply to this

          We can hope that you're right - that it is nothing but a grandstand play to keep bigoted voters happy and thus keep their job.  Although anyone that would do that should perhaps find another line of work...

          1. Kathleen Cochran profile image86
            Kathleen Cochranposted 8 months ago in reply to this

            If only they would.

  4. GA Anderson profile image86
    GA Andersonposted 8 months ago

    As I follow this thread it appears to me that this NFL "controversy" was an excellent vehicle to make a point. Namely that it appears it is OK for corporations to use their financial clout if it is for something we agree with, but it is an evil self-serving act if it is to accomplish something we don't agree with.

    As I read the OP, I took the point to be the right or wrong of the NFL's actions, not the right or wrong of the cloth of their actions.

    Isn't the question about the act of influencing policy more basic, (and important to decide), than questions about the purpose of "the act"

    A Super Bowl is a tremendous financial boost for a city. I think threats to withhold it, (no matter how innocently phrased), amount to blackmail. Or more accurate to this case, purposeful influence of legislation.

    As many responses have shown, "the act" isn't being judged, just its purpose.  Wrong and wrong.

    ps. I don't have a problem with a corporation attempting to influence legislation. It is a natural part of capitalism. My problem is with those that sell-out to that influence to the detriment of their constituents.

    GA

    1. Live to Learn profile image82
      Live to Learnposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      Seriously? The fact that the NFL simply stated that the policy would likely inhibit their ability to win a bid to host the Super Bowl? That's blackmail? Me thinks there are some who put too much emphasis on sports.

      The NFL, I'm sure, weighs many factors in deciding who gets to host a Super Bowl. It isn't blackmail. It's common business sense. Bad press if the bill goes through and they award the event to that city. Boycotts by some, protests by others. What it will boil down to is a loss of income during that event.

      A corporation has a right to make a statement without it being automatically labeled black mail. And, they have a right to protect their brand. It isn't blackmail. It's simply stating what the obvious outcome will be if the bill is passed. It's still a free country. You can't force a corporation to make bad financial decisions.

      1. GA Anderson profile image86
        GA Andersonposted 8 months ago in reply to this

        Hi again,
        I think you misunderstand me. I don't have a problem with the NFL's statement. But I do believe its action was studied and purposeful. And just as you said - a business decision.

        GA

        1. Live to Learn profile image82
          Live to Learnposted 8 months ago in reply to this

          It is possible that I misunderstood but you said it appears it is OK for corporations to use their financial clout if it is something we agree with, but it is an evil self-serving act of it is to accomplish something we don't agree with

          The only parameters I see, which they should remain within, are that attempts to sway legislation to unfairly favor them against competition, or unfairly put the consumer at a disadvantage, should be off limits. Your statement implied that if a corporation attempted to sway this type of legislation, either way, it would be heinous; but only halfway so. Depending in which stand you agreed with.

          This legislation stands to allow the individual and the corporation to target the individual by allowing open discrimination. No company stands to gain or lose except if they chose to use the legislation to push their personal agendas. It doesn't financially enrich them but protects them from prosecution or a potential lawsuit. I see no inherent over stepping of bounds in either side voicing their opinions. Nor do I perceive it as flexing financial muscles. It's a simple matter of the question of what environment a company is willing to invest in and being clear about it.

          This being a question of morals, it would seem to me that no company's input should affect the outcome. If it does, was it really a matter of conviction to start with?

 
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