NASCAR followed the lead of the NBA, WNBA, NCAA and others and voiced its concerns about Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Tuesday. The controversial law protects business owners who want to decline services to gays, lesbians and others on the basis of sexual orientation.
“NASCAR is disappointed by the recent legislation passed in Indiana,” NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes said in a statement. “We will not embrace nor participate in exclusion or intolerance. We are committed to diversity and inclusion within our sport and therefore will continue to welcome all competitors and fans at our events in the state of Indiana and anywhere else we race.”
NASCAR has one race planned at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on this season. The Brickyard 400 is scheduled to be held on July 26.
The news that even NASCAR — which is often painted publicly as a conservative institution — was disappointed with the legislation struck a chord with many on Twitter.
One of the few major sports organizations that hasn’t spoken out against the law is the NFL. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Isray, however, voiced his concern Monday via Twitter.
On Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said the state would “fix” the law to say it will not allow discrimination, however he did not mention adding a clause that would specifically protect gay or transgender individuals. He also said he has no plans to repeal the bill.