“This will not affect our plans for Super Bowl LI in 2017,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a written statement. “We will work closely with the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee to make sure all fans feel welcomed at our events. Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard.”
Voters in the nation’s fourth-largest city on Tuesday rejected, by a margin of 61 to 39 percent, a measure prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, business services and public spaces based on sexual orientation, race, gender identity and other considerations.
Opponents portrayed the ordinance, which had been passed by the city council but was put to a referendum after courtroom maneuvering, as permitting male sexual predators to enter women’s bathrooms.
In comments to ABC News Wednesday, Houston attorney John LaRue pointed to a potential for boycotts in the wake of the voting results, including “rumblings” to pressure the NFL to shift its Super Bowl site.
“The Super Bowl is slated to come in 2017, and there are rumblings of plans to ask the NFL to move and go elsewhere in support of LGBT people and other groups HERO [the anti-discrimination ordinance that was voted down] would have protected,” LaRue said.