Jim Irsay and Colts Silent on Controversial Freedom Bill (RFRA)


The Indianapolis Colts and their social media savvy owner in Jim Irsay have still remained silent on a recently passed bill, Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), that has caused major controversy throughout the state. Indiana Governor Mike Pence has already taken major criticism for signing the bill, and it’s become an increasingly heated debate at both the state and national level.

While other Indianapolis based sports organizations such as the Indiana Pacers and NCAA have already issued formal statements on the matter, the Colts have continued to keep their lips seemingly sealed. As Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk noted, it’s somewhat surprising given the franchise’s overall importance to the city of Indianapolis, as well as for having such an eccentric and generally outspoken owner in Jim Irsay:

"“Meanwhile, the Colts have said nothing, either.  Which seems a little odd, given the fairly high profile owner Jim Irsay has assumed on Twitter.  Though he recently has been tweeting about roster moves and the league meetings, Irsay hasn’t said a word via Twitter for the last six days.”"

It makes sense why the Colts wouldn’t want to address such a controversial issue, especially since the NFL itself has yet to formally comment on the passed law either.

However, issuing a statement where the Colts franchise isn’t necessarily picking a side, but rather advocating for inclusion and non-discrimination as part of human equality in general may not be a bad idea either. Something similar in fashion to the following statement issued by the Indiana Pacers organization and their owner Herb Simon today may prove to be both meaningful and forthcoming:

"“The game of basketball is grounded in long established principles of inclusion and mutual respect. We will continue to ensure that all fans, players and employees feel welcome at all NBA and WNBA events in Indiana and elsewhere.”Additionally, Pacers and Fever owner Herb Simon stated:“The Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and Bankers Life Fieldhouse have the strongest possible commitment to inclusion and non-discrimination on any basis. Everyone is always welcome at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That has always been the policy from the very beginning of the Simon family’s involvement and it always will be. ”"

However, while Jim Irsay hasn’t used social media to address the controversial religious freedom law, one of his key Colts players in punter Pat McAfee took to his ever-popular Twitter account to comment on the recently passed bill:

Right or wrong, the recently passed bill has caused both significant controversy and potential damage to the state of Indiana. It’ll be interesting to see if the Colts will comment on the issue soon or choose to continue to keep quiet on the matter entirely.

Whatever the case may be, the team insists that the unusually close timing between its recently revealed  “ONE” marketing campaign (pictured below) and this passed “religious freedom” bill is purely coincidence (via The Indianapolis Star’s Dana Benbow) and nothing more:

"“It was created to signify that although we come from different backgrounds and our journeys are all unique, there is a common thread that runs through each of us,” said Stephanie Pemberton, Colts Senior Director of Marketing.She also said there is absolutely no connection between the launch of the campaign and the signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, both which happened Thursday.“The campaign is purely a coincidence,” she said. “We have been working on it for several months.”"

We are bound together by the horseshoe as ONE. WATCH: http://t.co/zZoWAvcdBh pic.twitter.com/cVwOBK3TTr