Gearbox Representative Testifies Against Anti-Trans Bill in Texas

“Bad For Business”? Is That It?

The State of Texas is preparing to vote on a bill that would ban trans athletes from competing on sports teams for the gender they identify as. Many Texas-based businesses have stood in opposition to this bill, including Gearbox, developer of games like Borderlands, Duke Nukem, Half-Life, and Brothers in Arms. This week, David Najjab represented Gearbox in testifying against this bill. The two main points Najjab iterated was it painted his home state of Texas badly and that it is bad for business, but does that go far enough?

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The idea that Gearbox and other businesses would lose out on business opportunities because of this bill is kind of missing the big point. Transgender athletes are missing out on the opportunities that cisgender people are freely given. It is discriminitory and feeds into the fear that transgender people take advantage of some sort of dual source of power for a competitive edge. I get that companies have to speak about business, revenue, growth, and all that, but standing up for what is right should be about standing up for what is right.

Najjab did talk about the money and sales that Gearbox brings in to Texas and that they might even have to grow outside of the state if this bill makes them, in whatever capacity that means. Four years ago, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford co-signed a letter addressed to Governor Greg Abbott speaking out against another anti-trans bill, which was struck down. This letter was also signed by Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and others. If this bill were to be passed, would transgender esports players be affected as well? Surely, there are esports leagues that have mixed gender teams that would not be affected, right? Just something to think about.

Should David Najjab spoke about this bill differently? Let us know in the comments below.