Basketball Hall of Famer Charles
Barkley says that the Final Four should not be held in Indiana.
In a statement given to USA Today,
Barkley responded to passage of a bill in Indiana which critics say
absent LGBT protections would allow businesses to discriminate
against gay men and lesbians based on religious beliefs.
“Discrimination in any form is
unacceptable to me,” Barkley
said. “As long as anti-gay legislation exists in any state, I
strongly believe big events such as the Final Four and Super Bowl
should not be held in those states' cities.”
Indianapolis plays host to the NCAA
men's basketball Final Four tournament, which gets underway Saturday
at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Jason Collins, the NBA's first openly
gay player, now a commentator for Yahoo Sports, tweeted: “Is it
going to be legal for someone to discriminate against me & others
when we come to the #FinalFour?”
NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a
statement he is “especially concerned about how this legislation
could affect our student-athletes and employees.”
“Moving forward, we intend to closely
examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future
events as well as our workforce,” he added.
During an appearance Sunday on ABC's
This Week, Indiana
Gov. Mike Pence refused to say whether discrimination against gays
should be legal.