Charles Barkley And Reggie Miller Condemn Indiana Anti-Gay Law, Urge NCAA To Move Final Four

Indiana Governor Mike Pence and his fellow Republicans are facing one hell of a backlash over the anti-gay law passed they passed on Thursday, and now former NBA greats Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller are blasting them for it.

Charles Barkley has made many ignorant statements on the issue of racism over the last few months, but he may have redeemed himself at least a little bit by slamming Indiana’s Religious Freedom Act in a statement to USA Today in which he urges the NCAA to move the March Madness Final Four tournament out of the state.

“Discrimination in any form is unacceptable to me. As long as anti-gay legislation exists in any state, I strongly believe big events such as the Final Four and Super Bowl should not be held in those states’ cities.”

But an even bigger condemnation of the anti-gay law came from Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller, who dropped this hard hitting statement on Twitter like a long range three-point shot.

“I’ve never been big into politics but I’m very disappointed in my adopted home state of Indiana and the passing of Senate Bill 101.. I’ve always been about inclusion for all, no matter your skin color, gender or sexual preference.. We are all the same people, beautiful creatures..”

Here’s the tweet via Twitter.

For their part, the NCAA has also put out a statement expressing their concern for the safety of their employees and student athletes, but also said the decision to have Indianapolis host Final Four would not be affected.

“The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events. We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees. We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce.”

However, as pressure continues to pour in urging a change of venue for the tournament, the NCAA surely has to take notice and consider doing so, especially when a big basketball name like Charles Barkley supports the move.

Indiana Republicans made a huge and costly mistake by passing this law. Discrimination is never justified, especially in this country where all men and women are supposedly equal under the law. The fact is, this issue has been decided for decades. Indiana Republicans do not get to decide who gets to sit at a lunch counter in the state. That’s because the Civil Rights Act put an end to that bullsh*t in 1965.

Religion is being abused by conservatives across the country as a way to justify discrimination. If Indiana and other states are allowed to get away with legalizing discrimination against gay people, how long do you suppose it will be before a red state tries to use religious freedom as an excuse to justify discrimination against African-Americans? That’s why Indiana and any other state that passes a similar law should be boycotted into oblivion until the hateful bigots within those state government either surrender or are drummed out of office via recall by citizens who don’t want to see their state’s economy get shredded because of the religious extremism of their right-wing government. If that means corporations and the NCAA have to punish Indiana conservatives by choosing to refuse to do business in the state, then so be it.