Leave it to the Daily Beast's Dean Obeidallah to lay out a false dilemma supposedly facing the National Collegiate Athletic Association while simultaneously resurrecting at the end of 2013 a left-wing bogeyman that is so 2012.
"The NCAA is facing a momentous decision in 2014: Will it stop partnering with Chick-fil-A—or revise its bylaws so it can support discrimination against gay Americans?" Obeidallah asked in the open of his December 27 post "The NCAA’s Big Gay Choice: Chick-fil-A or Equality?"
While Obeidallah insisted later in his piece that he had no problem with Chick-Fil-A but rather with the NCAA, he made perfectly clear he disdains the social conservatism of the fast-food chain's ownership:
[L]et’s be brutally honest. Chick-fil-A is the corporate poster child for opposition to same-sex marriage. And it appears to have chosen that position deliberately. Not only has Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy said his company supports “the biblical definition of the family unit,” but the company’s charitable arm also has donated millions to anti-LGBT organizations.
Later in his piece, after citing federal and state court rulings on same-sex marriage cases, Obeidallah huffed that Chick-Fil-A management had "chosen the Bible over the U.S. Constitution" on the matter of same-sex marriage.
What Obeidallah failed to do was make his case that NCAA bylines require the organization to only do business with entities which have a pro-same-sex marriage stand. Yes, the NCAA has sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy, but he failed to find anything in the bylaws which positively require the NCAA to do business only with other entities which have sexual orientation in the non-discrimination guidelines or which have staked out a position in favor of same-sex marriage. To my knowledge, Chick-Fil-A does not list sexual orientation in its corporate non-discrimination policy, but does follow the applicable state and local laws regarding non-discrimination, including as regards sexual orientation. What's more, if Chick-Fil-A were ever credibly charged with much less proved to have discriminated against a gay employee, Obeidallah most certainly would have cited that in his case against the restaurant chain. He did not do so here.
It's abundantly clear that the Obeidallah's interest is in generating a controversy where one doesn't exist in order to shame the NCAA into dumping Chick-Fil-A, but you have to wonder if ol' Dean is living under a rock the past few weeks.
Chick-Fil-A is wildly popular in middle America, as is Duck Dynasty and the Robertson family. Obeidallah may not have been paying attention, but the A&E network and Cracker Barrel have both gone through the public-relations wringer for their respective actions related to the Robertson/GQ interview. It is patently ridiculous to think the suits at the NCAA would be itching to wage an unpopular battle with public opinion if they ditched Chick-Fil-A just because of the company president's religious views.
Here's a new year's resolution for Obeidallah: get out (of your liberal bubble) more in 2014.