MLB criticizes Arizona rights bill

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has issued a statement criticizing legislation in Arizona that if enacted would add protections for people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer faces a Saturday deadline to sign or veto Senate Bill 1062.

The baseball commissioner’s office says “as the sport of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs stand united behind the principles of respect, inclusion and acceptance. Those values are fundamental to our game’s diverse players, employees and fans. We welcome individuals of different sexual orientations, races, religions, genders and national origins.”

The statement Wednesday went on to say “MLB has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation, as reflected by our collective bargaining agreement with the MLB Players Association. Accordingly, MLB will neither support nor tolerate any words, attitudes or actions that imperil the inclusive communities that we have strived to foster within our game.”

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