For better or worse, the National Football League is one of the most influential and monied sports organizations on the planet.
Those who run this powerhouse have the opportunity to use its heft to right a wrong in Arizona, where lawmakers recently passed a discriminatory anti-gay bill.
If Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer does not veto this measure, which allows businesses to invoke religion in refusing to serve gays, the NFL should take its 2015 Super Bowl away from Arizona.
The game is scheduled to be played at University of Phoenix Stadium, raining hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact onto the state. The money and prestige of the game are powerful incentives, something the NFL knows quite well.
In fact, the league snubbed Arizona before, taking away the 1993 Super Bowl when the state failed to create a holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
This year's measure falls into the same sphere. It would allow business owners with deeply held religious beliefs to refuse service to gays and others. Those accused of discrimination could use the law as a defense.
The issue of refusing service to gay people will not be unfamiliar to Coloradans. In December, an administrative law judge ruled that a Lakewood baker wrongly refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple. As we said at the time, business owners cannot pick and choose who they serve based on their belief that some weddings, or some relationships, are immoral.
Pressure is mounting in Arizona for Brewer, a Republican, to kick the legs out from under this legislation, which would provide cover for the same sort of discriminatory actions.
The state's two Republican U.S. senators have called for her veto, as has the Super Bowl host committee and business giants Apple and American Airlines.
Such a law not only encourages discrimination against gay people, it's also bad business, as many in Arizona are coming to realize.