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NBA Celebrity Wants the Final Four Yanked From Indianapolis for a Reason That Has Very Little to Do With Basketball


"As long as anti-gay legislation exists in any state..."

Charles Barkley. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)

NBA icon Charles Barkley doesn't think Indianapolis should be allowed to host the men's Final Four basketball games next week.

The reason: Indiana's recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Charles Barkley. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr) Charles Barkley. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)

"Discrimination in any form is unacceptable to me," Barkley told USA Today. "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."

Barkley joins "Star Trek" actor George Takei and a gaggle of other celebrities in expressing "outrage" over the Indiana law.

While opponents have painted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as legalizing discrimination against gay people, the Weekly Standard's John McCormack explained on Friday how the law does not give religious persons carte blanche to "discriminate" against LGBT individuals.

Rather, McCormack noted, the law establishes a "balancing test for courts to apply in religious liberty cases" — in the event of a lawsuit, a court could still rule either for or against someone who, say, declined to photograph or bake a cake for a gay wedding.

The NCAA has released a statement expressing "concern" about the way Indiana's law could "affect our student-athletes and employees," but the organization did not say it plans to pull games from Indianapolis.

The NCAA is contractually obligated to hold Final Four games in Indianapolis every five years until 2039.

(H/T: Mediaite)

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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