NCAA, companies, celebrities raise concerns after Gov. Pence signs religious freedom bill

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Indiana's Religious Freedom Law Prompts Boycotts


BY KYLEE WIERKS, FOX59

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 26, 2015) – The NCAA and Salesforce are raising concerns about traveling to Indiana after Governor Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law Thursday morning.

Immediately after the signing, Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, announced that he is canceling all programs that require his customers/employees to travel to Indiana.

In the afternoon, the NCAA released this statement:

"The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events. We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees. We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week's Men's Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce."

These statements come after concerns raised earlier this week by Yahoo Sports analyst and the first openly gay pro athlete Jason Collins. He took to Twitter to voice his concerns about discrimination during the Final Four.

Additionally on Tuesday, Gen Con released a statement saying the bill will factor into their decision-making on hosting the convention in Indiana. After the bill was signed into law Thursday, Gen Con released another statement to its attendees regarding the convention's future in Indy.

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NCAA, companies, celebrities raise concerns after Gov. Pence signs religious freedom bill
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 2: Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long speaks as House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) looks on during a press conference about anti-discrimination safeguards added to the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act at the State Capitol April, 2, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The bill prompted a swift backlash nationwide with businesses and entertainers promising to boycott the state. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 2: Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma speaks as Senate President Pro Tem David Long (L) looks on during a press conference about anti-discrimination safeguards added to the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act at the State Capitol April, 2, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The bill prompted a swift backlash nationwide with businesses and entertainers promising to boycott the state. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 31: U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) holds a press conference March 31, 2015 at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pence spoke about the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act which has been condemned by business leaders and Democrats. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 31: U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) holds a press conference March 31, 2015 at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pence spoke about the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act which has been condemned by business leaders and Democrats. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 30: Demonstrators gather outside the City County Building on March 30, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The group called on the state house to roll back the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics say can be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 30: Demonstrator JD Ford speaks outside the City County Building on March 30, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The group called on the state house to roll back the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics say can be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 31: U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) holds a press conference March 31, 2015 at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pence spoke about the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act which has been condemned by business leaders and Democrats. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - March 30: City County Council Vice President John Barth introduces a resolution calling for the repeal or revision of the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act at the City County Building in March 30, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Protestors have called on the state house to roll back the religious freedom law that criticssay can be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 30: Demonstrators react to the City County Council passing a resolution calling on the state to repeal or revise it's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration act at the City County Building in March 30, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Protestors have called on the state house to roll back the religious freedom law that critics say can be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long, left, R-Fort Wayne, and House Speaker Brian C. Bosma R-Indianapolis, discuss their plans for clarifying the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act during a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Monday, March 30, 2015. Republican legislative leaders in Indiana state say they are working on adding language to a new state law to make it clear that it doesn't allow discrimination against gays and lesbians. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 30: Demonstrators gather outside the City County Building on March 30, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The group called on the state house to roll back the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics say can be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane, left, D-Anderson, and Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, call for the repeal of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act during a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Monday, March 30, 2015. Republican legislative leaders say they are working on adding language to a new state law to make it clear that it doesn't allow discrimination against gays and lesbians. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 30: Demonstrators gather outside the City County Building on March 30, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The group called on the state house to roll back the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics say can be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 30: Demonstrators gather outside the City County Building on March 30, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The group called on the state house to roll back the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics say can be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 30: Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard speaks about Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act outside the City County Building in March 30, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The mayor called on the state house to roll back the religious freedom law that many feel can be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 30: Demonstrator JD Ford speaks outside the City County Building on March 30, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The group called on the state house to roll back the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics say can be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 30: Angie's List CEO Bill Oesterle speaks about Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act outside the City County Building in March 30, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Angie's List has threatened to pull out of a planned expantion in the state over the religious freedom law, that many feel can be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Rep. Timothy Wesco, R-Osceola, addresses a rally of supporters of a religious freedom bill at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. Weson is the author of the bill that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on later in the day. The Republican-sponsored proposal would prohibit any state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs and extends the definition of a "person" to include religious institutions, businesses and associations. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Pence has signed into law a religious objections bill that some convention organizers and business leaders have opposed amid concern it could allow discrimination against gay people. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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Actor George Takei posted a statement on his Facebook page, which read in part, "If it goes into effect, Indiana will be marked as a state where certain people are not welcome, and so we will not visit. We will not spend. And we will not attend events, including Gen Con, the world's largest gaming convention, held in Indianapolis each year."

Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee also joined in on the conversation:



On Thursday, singer Miley Cyrus posted about the bill on her Instagram page.



Thursday night Hillary Clinton also used Twitter to voice her opinion.

On Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook also spoke out.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Friday, "...The signing of this bill doesn't seem like it's a step in the direction of equality and justice and liberty for all Americans. And again, that's not just the view of the administration, I know that's the view of the Republican mayor of Indianapolis and a whole host of non-profit and private sector companies who have legitimate concerns about the impact of this legislation."

Ellen DeGeneres Tweeted a response Friday night:

Former Indiana Pacer and NBA analyst Reggie Miller spoke out as well:



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