NCAA tournament analyst Charles Barkley released a statement Friday calling for big events such as the Final Four and the Super Bowl not to be held in Indiana in light of recent legislation in the state that many view as discriminatory against gay, lesbian and transgendered people.
“Discrimination in any form is unacceptable to me," Barkley said in the statement.
"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 is referring to Senate Bill 101, which was signed into law by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Thursday and "prohibits state or local governments from substantially burdening a person's ability to exercise their religion," according to the Indianapolis Star.
While the legislation does not mention a person's sexual orientation explicitly, opponents of the bill are concerned it could lead to business owners refusing to serve gays and lesbians on religious grounds.
The 2015 NCAA tournament's Final Four will be held in Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium Apr. 4-6. Lucas Oil Stadium is also slated to host the 2021 Final Four.
The stadium hosted the 2012 Super Bowl, as well.
- Will Green