PEN has filed a federal lawsuit against the National Football League and the NFL Players Association over a new policy that allows owners to “opt-out” of allowing cats on NFL stadiums, if the owners decide that they do not want the pets in their homes.
In a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the union’s president, Tom Coughlin, PEN President Dan Schnur said that the policy violates federal antitrust law and the Fair Housing Act.
“NFL owners are now free to discriminate against black people and women, Latinos and Asian Americans, members of the LGBTQ community, the disabled, and other marginalized groups just because they want to,” Schnur wrote in the letter.
The policy was developed in response to the 2008 “black lives matter” movement.
Schnur added that it’s “not fair that a league that has made billions of dollars off of sports and is one of the world’s biggest brands, should be discriminating against people based on their race and gender.”
The NFLPA declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The NFL has been working on a new, stricter policy, and a recent survey found that only 40 percent of owners approved of the policy.
The league has been criticized for its use of “social justice” in recent years, including the recent controversy over the Colin Kaepernick protests.
In March, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that he was “proud” to have created a new “tolerance” policy for players.
“The commissioner’s new policy makes it clear that he will not tolerate discrimination against players on the field,” Schnurs’ letter said.
“This is good news for all of us in the NFL, and it is bad news for those who suffer.”
The lawsuit is the latest effort to combat discrimination against the NFL by the league.
Last year, the NFL filed a lawsuit against The Associated Press for “defaming” it by claiming that it published a false story about a racist former Baltimore Ravens coach, Jimmy Johnson.
Last month, the AP published an article claiming that the NFL was being sued for the racist treatment of former Cleveland Browns star and current Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Johnny Manziel.
The lawsuit says that the league is using “disgraceful tactics” to “foment unrest” in America, which is “exacerbating racial tensions.”
“We are filing this lawsuit to hold the NFL accountable for its unconstitutional and anti-constitutional policy, which violates the constitutional rights of its players, coaches, employees, fans, and sponsors,” Schnurry said in the lawsuit, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
“We hope that NFL owners will take note of the harm this policy is doing to them and the millions of fans who support them, and that they join us in supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn this egregious policy.”