Although he claims to be the "biggest Bama fan," Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin says he would advise athletes to stay out of Alabama should the state legislature pass legislation banning taxpayer-funded Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) departments.

The legislation would prohibit public entities from "promoting, endorsing, or requiring affirmation of certain divisive concepts relating to race, sex, or religion." 

"We shouldn't be forcing or teaching to children that one race or sex or religion is better than the other," the bill's sponsor, State Sen. Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road), told reporters. Those are just some of the divisive concepts that are listed in there."

In a Twitter thread, Woodfin reacted to the proposed bill by asking why Alabama would want to "make it illegal for institutions of higher learning to promote diversity and inclusion among its faculty and staff." He also likened the prohibition of taxpayer-funded DEI departments to Gov. George Wallace standing in a doorway at the University of Alabama to prevent black students from entering.

Screen Shot 2024 02 21 at 1 20 12 PM Alabama News
Screen Shot 2024 02 21 at 1 20 27 PM Alabama News

"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?" Woodfine asked.

He added, "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 Wallace," the mayor concluded.

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