Indiana Religious Freedom Bill: Will This Make The NCAA Relocate?

The passage of Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Bill has caused quite an uproar. Many believe that the bill allows business owners to discriminate against gay and lesbian customers, if their orientation goes against their religious beliefs.

With the passage of the controversial bill, there may also be a huge impact on the state’s economy. The NCAA’s headquarters are located in Indianapolis, and the Final Four is scheduled to take place in the city next week. NCAA president Mark Emmert released a statement in regards to the Religious Freedom Bill, saying that the Final Four will take place as planned. But it’s uncertain if the games will be held in the state of Indiana any time after this year, and if the NCAA will relocate because of the bill.

“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.”

Talking to USA Today Sports, North Carolina State forward Abdul-Malik Abu said he’s confused by Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Bill.

“I definitely feel like that law is really backwards. You shouldn’t be able to reject anybody based on what they believe in, definitely.”

As for whether the Final Four will be held in Indiana after this year, Abu noted that it’s “the NCAA’s choice” on what will happen.

“I know that decision probably won’t be based on moral views but probably more currency-based.”

It’s not just the NCAA that has threatened to no longer do business with Indiana because of the Religious Freedom Bill. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Disciples of Christ threatened to cancel its event in 2017 because of the bill. Gaming convention Gen Con also said it would find a new location if the bill was passed.

With the bill now signed into law, Gen Con CEO Adrian Swartout issued a statement saying that this year’s event will still take place, and everybody is welcome to attend.

“Due to specific dialog with longtime partners in Indy, we believe that Gen Con attendees not only will receive the same great service and hospitality in 2015, but an even warmer response from the city.”

The organization’s contract with Indiana expires in 2020. Swartout noted that there are “discussions” taking place now on whether Gen Con will stay in Indiana or move somewhere else after the contract expires.

[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]