Houston, We've Got a Problem - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Houston, We’ve Got a Problem

The ballots were still being counted on Election Day when leftist advocates began threatening a full court press on the NFL to move the Super Bowl from Houston in 2017. Their snit was due to Proposition 1, better known as bathroom ordinance. Not surprisingly the ballot initiative was crushed by Houston voters 61-39%, as it would have bestowed a whole new set of “civil rights” to transgendered people. The opposition to Prop 1 were effective in illustrating the absurdity of the new “civil rights” the proposition would have granted, by pointing out how grown men, including sexual predators, would have full access to women’s restrooms if the proposition passed.

Liberals, who rarely seem bothered by niceties like the will of the people, especially when it conflicts with what they want, immediately switched to Plan B. John LaRue, a Houston lawyer and candidate for Houston City Council as well as proponent of the proposition, hinted at what was to come by saying, “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 would have protected.” The acronym HERO standing for Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance.

If this were an isolated incident it would be tempting to ignore, but this is far from the first time Democrats have attempted to hold a major sporting event hostage. One only has to go back to last March’s Final Four in Indianapolis to see how this is now modus operandi by the left. To refresh your memory, shortly before last year’s Final Four basketball tournament, Indiana passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) which attempted to protect Indiana citizen’s religious rights. If Proposition 1 was known as the bathroom ordinance, RFRA is best remembered as the gay wedding cake fight. When Christian bakeries found themselves in the awkward position of not being able to refuse business from gay weddings even if it violated their religious beliefs, RFRA would have given bakery owners legal protection, but as soon as the law was passed, the movement to relocate the basketball tournament began. The calls to move the NCAA Final Four were so effective, that it is quite plausible the NCAA would have yielded to the relocation request if it were practically possible to make the move at such a late date. Even so, judging from the reaction of NCAA President Mark Emmert last spring, the writing seems to be on the wall for any region that doesn’t embrace the left’s social agenda, as he promised to examine RFRA and “how it might affect future events as well as our workforce.”

Major League Baseball also faced pressure from liberal groups to move the 2011 All Star Game from Phoenix, Arizona, due to Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, which required police to look into a suspect’s immigration status if they had reasonable suspicion of their residency upon arrest. Nor are boycott calls limited to the borders of the United States. Any time an international sporting event is slated to take place in Israel you can count on groups like the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine to make everyone’s life connected to the event miserable.

If at this point you say so what, these advocates are nothing but a lot of hot air with no real impact, take a look at what transpired at the University of Missouri this week. When a mediocre University of Missouri football team went on strike, for lack of a better term, the University collapsed to their demands so fast there wasn’t even time to yell “Timber” first. It would have been tempting to see what would have happened if the University called their bluff and told the players and coaches that unless they returned to practice, they were going to cancel their athletic scholarships and disband the program for the rest of the year. Alas, when the politically correct yell “Jump,” instead of fighting back, the default response always seems to be “How high?”

The left, it seems, have taken the traditional spoiled sports axiom of “taking my ball and going home” one step further to taking someone else’s ball and not allowing anyone to play unless they can dictate the terms. Universally it seems that a growing majority of people are tired of political correctness, but at the same time society seems cowed by it. Like the bogeyman, political correctness will lose its power over us when people stand up to it, but until that time it will continue to dominate the American psyche.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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