The Seattle Mariners echoed the stance of Major League Baseball on Wednesday, speaking out against Arizona Senate Bill 1062 which would have allowed businesses in the state to deny service to gay and lesbian customers as an exercise of religious freedom.
The bill may have been vetoed by the Arizona Governor, but it had passed the Arizona State Legislature and invoked outrage from many organizations and individuals, Major League Baseball among them.
Here is the statement from Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln:
The Seattle Mariners have enjoyed 37 years of spring training in Arizona. Our fans flock to Peoria for baseball in March, and have always been made to feel welcome by the businesses and good people of Arizona. This should apply to all of our fans. The Mariners respect and value diversity. We welcome fans of all races, colors, religious beliefs, nationalities, ages, and sexual orientations. We believe that intolerance has no place in our game or society. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 1062 sends a message that not everyone is welcome. We hope Governor Brewer will reject that message.
The statement was released just prior to the Governor doing just that.
The Mariners made news in 2013 when they became the first major American sports franchise to fly a Gay Pride flag at a game.
The NFL also weighed in against SB 1062, saying that the league may reconsider holding Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona had the bill passed.