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NCAA “pleased” with Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act updated language

By SI Wire
April 02, 2015

The NCAA says it is "pleased" with proposed changes announced by Indiana lawmakers to the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

Indiana lawmakers announced plans on Thursday to amend language in the law to make sure it does not “discriminate against anyone at any time."

Critics said the law, also known as Senate Bill 101, allowed small businesses to openly discriminate against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

The new law now grants new protections for LGBT customers, employees and tenants.

NCAA president Mark Emmert said he hopes the revised bill will pass quickly and signed into law.

“We are very pleased the Indiana legislature is taking action to amend Senate Bill 101 so that it is clear individuals cannot be discriminated against," Emmert said in a statement. “NCAA core values call for an environment that is inclusive and non-discriminatory for our student-athletes, membership, fans, staff and their families."

• Charles Barkley: Indiana should not host Final Four in light of Indiana RFRA

After the original legislation was passed, the NCAA issued a statement expressing concern over the effects of the law. 

The coaches (Kentucky's John Calipari, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, Wisconsin's Bo Ryan and Michigan State's Tom Izzo) of the teams that are participating in this weekend’s Final Four issued a statement on Wednesday saying they “strongly support the positions of the NCAA and our respective institutions on this matter.”

"It was never intended to discriminate against anyone," Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long said to the Indianapolis Star. "That perception led to the national protests we've seen."

Earlier this week, Connecticut announced that men's head basketball coach Kevin Ollie and his staff will not travel to Indianapolis for the Final Four because of the law.

- Scooby Axson

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