A recent letter sent by the NAACP to the players' unions in five major professional sports is urging athletes not to sign - or re-sign - contracts with teams in Texas because of the states laws on abortion, voting rights and COVID 19 vaccine mandates.

Derrick Johnson, the President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, sent letters to unions representing Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League and the Women's National Basketball Association.

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In mid-May, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed "the heartbeat bill," legislation that bans abortions in the state after six weeks of pregnancy.

In September, Abbott signed a bill that expanded times for early voting, but makes it more difficult for fraudulent ballots to be cast by banning drop boxes for mail-in ballots and prohibiting the mailing of ballots to all eligible voters, requested or not. The bill also made the practice of "ballot harvesting" a felony.

The Texas Governor has also signed executive orders banning vaccine requirements, not only by municipalities, but also private entities in the state.

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In part, Johnson's letter to the the players' unions said:

"Over the past few months, legislators in Texas have passed archaic policies, disguised as laws, that directly violate privacy rights and a woman's freedom to choose, restrict access to free and fair elections for Black and brown voters, and increase the risk of contracting coronavirus."

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There are nine major league professional sports teams in the state, MLB's Texas Rangers and Houston Astros, the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, the Dallas Stars of the NHL, the WNBA's Dallas Sting and the NFL's Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys.

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