On Thursday, the largest civil rights organization in the nation, NAACP (National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People) sent a letter to every professional sports players association in the country, urging its free agents to reconsider signing contracts in Texas.
The letter was written by the NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and the organization’s Texas State Conference President Gary Bledsoe. “We must stand up for what is right and protect our loved ones from the dangerous attacks on freedom taking place in Texas”, said Johnson.
According to Axios, this unprecedented move comes from the recent approval of extreme laws by Gov. Greg Abbott, from Texas’ severely restrictive voting rights law to empowering vigilantes with the authority to restrict women’s freedom to make choices about their bodies, and the most recently codified redistricting maps that blunt Black and Latinx voters.
The letter describes Texas as a blueprint by legislators to violate constitutional rights for all, especially for women, children, and marginalized communities. “If you are a woman, avoid Texas. If you are Black, avoid Texas. If you want to lower your chances of dying from coronavirus, avoid Texas,” the letter reads.
This incomprehensible assault on basic human rights is why Bledsoe urges that “In the absence of federal action, advocates in Texas must stand together and use all of the tools at their disposal to ensure that basic human rights are delivered to the people of Texas.”
The letter calls on athletes to consider not only their influential platforms as professional athletes but as parents and role models for our children and those in their personal lives.
“Professional athletes serve as some of our country’s greatest role models and we need them to join us to fight for democracy,” concluded Johnson.