LM Otero/Associated Press
A July meeting of Texas legislators to discuss a bill that prevents protection for transgender students from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify could have an impact on the Dallas Cowboys‘ hopes to host the 2018 NFL draft.
Per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, if House Bill 2899 passes, the Cowboys could miss out on hosting next year’s draft.
“The timing of the NFL’s decision isn’t tied to the Texas legislative schedule, which begins its special session July 18,” Moore wrote. “The league has awarded the draft in August, September and October the last three years. But the timetable works to the league’s advantage by letting the issue play out without inserting itself into what has become a contentious public debate.”
As Moore noted, the Cowboys have already made a pitch to host the draft in April.
Per the Daily Beast’s Samantha Allen, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called for the state’s legislature to reconvene for a special session with the hope of passing the controversial bill.
“The law to which Abbott was referring, HB 2899, would bar school districts and municipalities from implementing restroom protections for transgender students,” Allen wrote. “If passed, it would land at a time when federal court victories have been stacking up for transgender students who have been denied restroom rights.”
North Carolina passed a similar bill in March 2016 that nullified certain protections for transgender people. In response to the bill, the NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina, to New Orleans, and the Atlantic Coast Conference relocated championship events in eight sports out of the state.
In March, North Carolina lawmakers repealed the bathroom bill.
The 2018 NFL draft is scheduled for April 26-28, with the location still to be determined.