Bathroom bill could cost Texas future Super Bowls

New England Patriots' James White scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl LI in Houston Texas U.S

Nearly a week after Houston hosted Super Bowl LI, the NFL has weighed in on what Texas' so-called "bathroom bill" could mean for future championship football games in Texas.

"The NFL embraces inclusiveness", league spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

The NFL has selected Super Bowl sites through 2021, none of which is in Texas.

The comments, which come after Houston hosted Super Bowl LI on Sunday, appear to be the most critical by the league yet of legislation that has become a focal point in USA culture wars.

The NFL's statement comes amid a growing debate over Senate Bill 6, which would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on "biological sex" and would pre-empt local nondiscrimination ordinances that allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

The Texas bill is similar in scale and tone to North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2 (HB2) law.

Lawmakers in Texas and 13 other states now have introduced so-called "bathroom bills", which supporters say help protect privacy and safety but opponents argue target an already marginalized group in US society. Super Bowl XLV was held in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex., in 2011 and Jerry Jones would no doubt love to host another soon. The NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte and the NCAA relocated several collegiate championship games from the state as well.

The controversy over this type of bathroom law first took flight in North Carolina, which led to the NCAA taking all NCAA postseason tournaments out of the state.

Shortfall said, "Sports and tourism folks in North Carolina say this has been devastating for them". Dallas is hosting this season's NCAA women's basketball Final Four, and the 2018 men's basketball Final Four is scheduled to be held in San Antonio.

The Texas bill was filed last month and has a powerful backer in Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has clashed with the Texas Association of Business over the possible economic backlash and termed their warnings as "fear-mongering".

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