In the wake of an eye-opening disclosure by one of its star athletes, and with a gay-marriage bill going before the Indiana Senate’s Rules Committee today, the NCAA announced that it opposes that measure, House Joint Resolution 3 (HJR-3).
“The NCAA national office leadership strongly supports an environment of inclusion where all of our employees are treated fairly and enjoy equal protection under the law,” NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said in a statement. “We urge Indiana lawmakers to legislate in the same spirit.”
Despite its initial opposition to HJR-3, the NCAA noted in its statement that its leaders will not pursue further action against the measure. The announcement came on the cleated heels of news from Michael Sam, an All-American defensive end for the University Missouri’s football team. Over the weekend, Sam became the first likely National Football League (NFL) player to come out as gay before being drafted into the league. (Notably, he then gave his first national interview after the disclosure to Sports Illustrated‘s Jon Wertheim, a native Hoosier.)
Previously, business and religious leaders ranging from the Indy Chamber to clergy, including employers such as Cummins Inc., Eli Lilly & Co., Indiana University, and Emmis Communications (IM‘s parent company), have joined the Freedom Indiana coalition seeking to oust the bill that would ban same-sex marriages and also, potentially, civil unions.