NBA, Pacers release statement on Indiana religious freedom bill

0:54 | NBA
NBA, Pacers release statement on Indiana religious freedom law
Saturday March 28th, 2015

The NBA, WNBA, Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever released a joint statement on Saturday concerning Senate Bill 101, which was signed into law by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday.

The bill has been considered controversial and "prohibits state or local governments from substantially burdening a person's ability to exercise their religion," according to the Indianapolis Star. Opponents of the law fear it could allow business owners to refuse to serve same-sex couples based on religious beliefs. 

NCAA issues statement on Indiana religious freedom bill

The joint statement:

"The game of basketball is grounded in long established principles of inclusion and mutual respect. We will continue to ensure that all fans, players and employees feel welcome at all NBA and WNBA events in Indiana and elsewhere."

Herb Simon, who both the Pacers and Fever, also issued a statement about the new law.

"The Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and Bankers Life Fieldhouse have the strongest possible commitment to inclusion and non-discrimination on any basis. Everyone is always welcome at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That has always been the policy from the very beginning of the Simon family’s involvement and it always will be."

On Friday, former NBA player Charles Barkley released a statement calling for big events such as the Final Four and the Super Bowl not to be held in Indiana in light of the legislation.

- Molly Geary

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.