Former Sixers Player Kevin Ollie Banned from Traveling to Indiana for Meeting
Kevin Ollie, former Sixers team captain and currently coach for the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, will not travel to Indianapolis next week for a series of meetings due to a travel ban instituted by his state following the passage of Indiana’s anti-gay Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
“In support of Governor Malloy’s travel ban to the state of Indiana, Kevin Ollie and other members of the UConn men’s basketball staff will not travel to Indianapolis for the NCAA Final Four and events surrounding it,” UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement. “UConn is a community that values all of our members and treats each person with the same degree of respect, regardless of their background and beliefs and we will not tolerate any other behavior.”
Ollie and his staff would have been traveling to Indianapolis for the National Association of Basketball Coaches convention and various events and networking gatherings. The team joins a growing number of others in the sports world standing up against RFRA, including NCAA President Mark Emmert, and Southern California athletics director Pat Haden, who stated in tweet that he will not attend the meeting, because he is the “proud father of a gay son.”
It should be noted that Connecticut has a freedom of religion statute, but, according to USA Today, “there are state laws that forbid religion from being used as an excuse for discrimination, including against gay, lesbian and transgender people.”
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which basically gives business in Indiana the right to turn away LGBT customers, was signed in to law last week by Governor Mike Pence. Since the growing backlash, the governor has called for an amendment to the bill that clarifies that businesses can not reject LGBT customers. Stay tuned for any developments.
(h/t: USA Today)
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