clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Could a new bill cost Atlanta United an MLS All-Star Game?

A new passed bill from Georgia State Legislature could have an impact on Atlanta United.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia has passed House Bill 757.

To many people this may not seem like a big deal. States pass laws all of the time. This one is number 757.

Unfortunately, for a majority of people HB 757 could impact their daily lives if signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal by May 3. HB 757 is a "religious liberty" bill, which allows "faith-based organizations" the right to deny services to people they say are not in line with their religious beliefs.

The law is controversial, and rightfully so. It is legalized discrimination under the guise of protecting the religious rights to groups. In reality it allows groups to let their religious beliefs impact the private lives of citizens in the state, and is discriminatory to LGBT individuals.

Many businesses have voiced their concern with the bill, saying they would consider pulling business from Georgia if the bill was signed into law. In addition, the NFL said that "tolerance and inclusiveness" plays a role in the league's decision on where the Super Bowl will be held in a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. There is some precedent on behalf of the NFL, who moved the 1993 Super Bowl out of Arizona after the state would not recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

When Atlanta United joins MLS in 2017 it will be doing so in a state-of-the-art new stadium. It would be a logical candidate to host the MLS All-Star Game, the league's flagship event, within a few years of starting play.

When reached for comment, MLS said they would not be issuing a statement on the matter, and passed along a statement from Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank.

"One of my bedrock values is ‘Include Everyone’ and it’s a principle we embrace and strive to live each and every day with my family and our associates, a vast majority of which live and work in Georgia," Blank said in the statement.

"I strongly believe a diverse, inclusive and welcoming Georgia is critical to our citizens and the millions of visitors coming to enjoy all that our great state has to offer. House Bill 757 undermines these principles and would have long-lasting negative impact on our state and the people of Georgia."