Woodfin says if anti-DEI bill passes, he would urge athletes to leave Alabama.


By Greg Garrison | ggarrison@al.com
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin took a social media jab this morning at Alabama legislators who introduced a bill prohibiting the teaching of “divisive concepts” and the sponsorship of “any diversity, equity and inclusion program” in Alabama public schools and universities.

“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,” Woodfin said today on the X social media platform. “If supporting inclusion becomes illegal in this state, hell, you might as well stand in front of the school door like Governor Wallace,” Woodfin said. “Mannnn it’s Black History Month. Y’all could have at least waited until March 1.”

Senate Bill 129, sponsored by Sen. Will Barfoot, R-Pike Road and filed on Tuesday, resembles 2022 and 2023 proposals sponsored by Rep. Ed Oliver, R-Dadeville.

The bill would forbid public schools from affirming “a divisive concept,” with such examples 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.”

Woodfin wrote:

“To the State of Alabama: Why would you make it illegal for institutions of higher learning to promote diversity and inclusion among its faculty and staff? Why would you block fair representation and opportunities for all people?” He also addressed how it would affect sports programs at state universities:

“To the leadership, athletic directors and coaches at University of Alabama, Auburn University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham: Do you support this prohibition of diversity and inclusion?”

He also appealed to potential student-athletes and their families:

“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?”

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