The NFL kept a low profile on a recently introduced Texas bathroom bill during the Super Bowl week.
But now that the game and festivities in Houston are over with, the league is threatening not to award future Super Bowls to Houston or the Dallas area if the controversial "Senate Bill 6" is passed.
The law would require people to use bathrooms that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificate. It targets transgender people and would be similar to a bill that passed in North Carolina that led to the NBA pulling its All-Star Game out of Charlotte.
"If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law (in Texas), that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email response to the Houston Chronicle question about the bill.
"The NFL embraces inclusiveness. We want all fans to feel welcomed at our events, and NFL policies prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other improper standard."
The next three Super Bowls are slated to be held in Minneapolis, Atlanta and Miami. The next opening is 2021 and Arlington, Texas, home to the Dallas Cowboys, is expected to be one of the bidders.
The Texas bill was filed last month and has a powerful backer in Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has clashed with the Texas Association of Business over the possible economic backlash and termed their warnings as "fear-mongering."
Patrick and others don't believe the NFL or other pro sports leagues will abandon Texas.
The NCAA hasn't commented on the Texas bill. Dallas is hosting this season's NCAA women's basketball Final Four, and the 2018 men's basketball Final Four is scheduled to be held in San Antonio.
The NCAA pulled seven championship events from North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year due to its objections to North Carolina House Bill 2.
Among the events pulled were first- and second-round men's NCAA tournament basketball games in Greensboro. Those six games were moved to Greenville, S.C.
The Atlantic Coast Conference moved 10 championship events, including its football championship game (Clemson vs. Virginia Tech) to Orlando, Fla.
The situation in Texas will be watched closely by the NCAA, which set precedent with its actions involving North Carolina.
"We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a news release.
The NCAA recently said it won't sanction its sports championships to be played in North Carolina through 2022 if the law isn't repealed.
"I'm not a lawmaker, but I know the impression that that law has given other people of our state and that's the saddest thing in the world to me," Williams said at a press conference on Tuesday.