Texas governor Greg Abbott mocked the NFL's "decision makers" on Twitter after the league issued veiled criticism of a proposed "bathroom bill" in the state.
The bill, similar to the HB2 law in North Carolina, would require people to use bathrooms in government buildings and public universities and schools that match the gender listed on their birth certificate. Private businesses would also be able to set their own bathroom policies. Like its predecessor in North Carolina, Texas' Senate Bill 6 targets transgender people.
Abbott's tweet came after a league spokesman told the AP that prejudicial legislation could be a factor when the NFL chooses where to host events like the Super Bowl.
“If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy told the AP.
The Republican governor responded on Saturday by pointing out that Tom Brady and the Patriots had won the Super Bowl despite the NFL's decision to suspend Tom Brady for his role in the Deflategate saga.
North Carolina's bathroom law spurred the relocation of several major sporting events, including seven NCAA championships and the NBA All–Star Game. Houston recently hosted Super Bowl LI, which Abbott attended, and the state is scheduled to host the women's Final Four this year and the men's Final Four in 2018.
The bill was introduced in the state senate in January. Abbott has been largely quiet about the bathroom bill, but other key figures like lieutenant governor Dan Patrick and attorney general Ken Paxton support the measure.