Mayor Of Birmingham Says Black Athletes Should Leave Alabama If Anti-DEI Bill Passes

Paras Griffin/ Getty Images

Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin isn’t mixing matters when it comes to his support of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at public schools and universities in Alabama.

In a social media post on Facebook, Woodfin said he would encourage parents of minority student-athletes to choose colleges in states that prioritize diversity and inclusion if lawmakers pass a law barring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in public schools and universities.

Woodfin was reacting to state Senate Bill 129 that would prohibit state agencies, local boards of education a and local boards of education from having a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) office, department, and inclusion (DEI) office, department,nd public institutions of higher education from having a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) office, department or program.

The bill would also bar public schools from affirming “a divisive concept,” such as teaching that “slavery and racism are aligned with the founding principles of the United States” and that “fault, blame, or bias should be assigned to members of a race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.”

The bill would require a House vote before it can be signed into law by the Republican Governor Kay Ivey.

In his post, Woodfin asked the “leadership, athletic directors, and coaches” of those colleges whether they supported this proposed law. He continued: “To the parents of minority athletes who are helping their children decide if they want to play sports at those institutions: Would  you be cool with your child playing at schools where diversity among staff is actively being discouraged?”

“Although I’m the biggest Bama fan, I have no problem organizing Black parents and athletes to attend other institutions outside of the state where diversity and inclusion are prioritized. If supporting inclusion becomes illegal in this state, hell, you might as well stand in front of the school door like Governor [George] Wallace,” who was a  staunch segregationist. 

Some praised Woodfin’s post, while others who support the law barring diversity, equity,  and inclusion (DEI) programs in public schools and universities called him a “racist.”

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