Congressman Thompson writes NCAA President a letter about House Bill 1523

Mississippi teams could receive sanctions

Congressman Bennie Thompson


WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bennie Thompson is asking the National Collegiate Athletic Association to review House Bill 1523.

The Mississippi Democrat sent a letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert.

Thompson wants to know what sanctions that Mississippi NCAA teams may face due to the law.

In the letter, Thompson said there are 11 institutions that fall under the NCAA jurisdiction and their sports play an important role in Mississippi’s culture. He also said they benefit the state in tourism dollars.

Below is Thompson’s statement about the letter he wrote:

“Today, I wrote to NCAA President Mark Emmert asking him to review Mississippi’s HB 1523 and advise me on all implications that our state’s institutions may face as a result of this bill. Currently, Mississippi is the only state still banned from hosting predetermined NCAA postseason events because of the confederate imagery on the state flag.  I am deeply concerned that the governor’s insensitive and ill-advised signing of this discriminatory so-called “religious freedom” law will draw further sanctions from the NCAA so I have called on the organization to review the bill and advise me on just how much the state stands to lose as a result of this law.”

“It is possible that the state may lose the right to host predetermined and non-predetermined events and championships.  For example, three of our state’s baseball teams are currently ranked in the Top 25 in the country.  It may be possible, that despite their athletic achievements, they will be prevented from hosting postseason tournaments and championships on their home fields because the governor and the legislature felt it necessary to sanction discrimination.”

“Athletics is an important part of our state’s heritage and our sports teams and colleges have historically had a great deal of success.  This law may cost our state vital tourism money, opportunities for economic development, and much-needed support for those NCAA member institutions.  I would like to have this law reviewed and have the NCAA explain the potential repercussions so that we all know just how much we stand to lose in the name of discrimination and inequality.”

Read the full letter here.

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