Texas 'bathroom bill' could hurt Dallas' 2018 NFL Draft bid
The NFL wants to make sure "every Texan is welcomed" at the league's sporting events.
Philadelphia could be the big winner if a controversial Texas bathroom bill becomes law.
Texas legislators are scheduled to meet in July to discuss their own version of a bathroom bill that would prevent transgender students from using the restroom of the gender they identify with.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is a big advocate of the legislation, and if House Bill 2899 passes, it could have an impact on Dallas' chances of landing the 2018 NFL Draft, according to Dallas Morning News beat writer David Moore.
Dallas, who has already made its pitch to the league, is considered the front-runner to land the 2018 NFL Draft.
"As great a job as Philly did, my understanding is it's going to be difficult for Philly to repeat," ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter told 97.5 The Fanatic's Anthony Gargano back in May. "I've been hearing since April that Dallas is a really strong contender. I continue to hear the very same thing."
The bill is similar to legislation that was enacted in North Carolina, which led to the NCAA pull seven championship games from the state last year. The NCAA recently ended its boycott of the state after legislators repealed the so-called bathroom bill. All told, the state lost nearly $4 billion over 12 years due to canceled events over the legislation, according to a study conducted by the Associated Press
Following the Super Bowl, the NFL warned Texas that it could lose out on league events if the pending legislation becomes law.
"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," league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement, adding that the league was committed to "making sure that every Texan is welcomed" at sporting events.
If the NFL skips Dallas, Philadelphia could end up landing hosting duties for the draft for the second year in a row.
Philadelphia broke NFL Draft attendance records, with an estimated 250,000 fans descending on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway over the course of the three-day event. According to Philadelphia police, not only were there zero arrests, authorities didn't even hand out any draft-related citations.
"The crowd and the setting Thursday set a new draft night standard," wrote NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal. "The NFL might have to run this back."
Even Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Gil LeBreton thinks it'll be tough for Dallas to top what Philadelphia was able to accomplish.
"What a Cowboys draft would be missing, however, is the Rocky ambiance, and I'm not talking about the movie or the statue," LeBreton wrote. "The Philadelphia attitude, the fans' passion for their Eagles, would be impossible for a Cowboys crowd to match."