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Roger Goodell says North Carolina bathroom law is discriminatory

In this Oct. 8, 2014, photo, NFL commissioner

In this Oct. 8, 2014, photo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference after a meeting of NFL owners and executives in New York. Credit: AP / John Minchillo

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Reacting to criticism from LGBT advocates who consider North Carolina’s recently enacted bathroom law as discriminatory, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took his strongest stand yet on House Bill 2 in his closing remarks at Tuesday’s owners meetings.

“Anything that discriminates, we oppose,” Goodell said about the law, which requires people to use the bathroom or dressing facilities of the gender that appears on their birth certificate. “We will continue to fight that. We have a franchise here. The Carolina Panthers play here, they operate here, and we want to work with the community. We’re not going to threaten a community. We’re going to work with the community to make the effective changes necessary long term.”

Panthers spokesman Steven Drummond said the team is “against discrimination and has a long history of treating all of our patrons at Bank of America Stadium with dignity and respect. The Panthers have and will continue to engage key stakeholders on this important issue.”

The owners decided not cancel this week’s meetings, despite the fact several entertainers and corporate groups have either canceled or cut back on financial commitments to the state to show support for critics of the law.

Goodell said he supported government officials from Charlotte, including Mayor Jennifer Roberts, with whom he spoke on Monday, who are opposed to the bill and are working to overturn it.

49ers owner Jed York on Tuesday made a $75,000 donation to Equality NC, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group. He also called for North Carolina to repeal the measure.

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