University of Southern California athletic director Pat Haden took to Twitter Tuesday afternoon to announce he’ll be boycotting a college football meeting in Indiana. Haden said he’s not attending the College Football Playoff selection committee meeting in honor of his gay son.
Haden’s announcement comes days after Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana signed a bill into law that allows businesses to deny services to gay and lesbian couples.
It’s a significant move from Haden that sends a strong symbolic message to the state governor. Haden is the nation’s highest paid athletic director.
"I certainly understand and respect Pat's position," College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock told USA TODAY. "Everyone has the right to express their personal opinion and Pat, to his credit, has expressed his. As a father and also a human being, I respect him for that.”
“I will also express my personal opinion: I think they need to fix this,” Hancock went on to say.
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A number of other notable leaders have gone public with their frustrations with Indiana’s governor. Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy signed an executive order barring state-funded travel to Indiana. Washington state has also created similar legislation banning travel to Indiana.
San Francisco State University president Leslie E. Wong also said no university funds would be used for travel to Indiana. The band Wilco also cancelled an upcoming performance in the state.
The car racing organization NASCAR which hosts a major race in Indianapolis also expressed disappointment in the state’s anti-gay law.
The College Football Playoff's selection committee is still scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday.