MGM Resorts to fund Anti-Defamation League, other civil rights groups
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MGM Resorts to fund Anti-Defamation League, other civil rights groups

In wake of Charlottesville rally and Barcelona attacks, head of international casino chain announces plan to match employees' donations to watchdog organizations

Screen capture from video of  MGM Resorts International Chair James Murren speaking to The National Press Club, December 02, 2016. (YouTube/National Press Club Live)
Screen capture from video of MGM Resorts International Chair James Murren speaking to The National Press Club, December 02, 2016. (YouTube/National Press Club Live)

MGM Resorts International denounced “hate speech and hate-based actions” in a letter to employees that offered to match their donations to civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League.

“The events in Charlottesville and Barcelona can easily cause us to feel overcome by hatred and gutted by violence, leaving open questions about our future – as a nation, a global society and even a human race,” MGM CEO James Murren wrote in a letter to all employees that was made public by the Las Vegas Review Journal. “The protection of human dignity, demonstrated in the form of tolerance and respect for all people is the core of our identity,” he also wrote.

“Free speech and equality are essential to democracy. The First Amendment provides that government shall not silence the voices of our citizens, no matter how vile or offensive we may find their ideals. Equality is also guaranteed by the Constitution and further strengthened by laws such as The Civil Rights Act. While hate mongers and white supremacists have a constitutional right to express their views, we must stand strongly in defiance of violence, bigotry and anything that threatens our precious right to equality,” Murren wrote in announcing the matching donations program.

In addition to the ADL, the human rights groups eligible for matching funds from MGM Resorts International according to the letter are: Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP, Human Rights Campaign, Council on American Islamic Relations, OCA National-Asian Pacific American Advocates, and League of United Latin American Citizens.

MGM Resorts is the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip and employs about 77,000 people worldwide, according to Bloomberg News. It is one of the largest employers in Nevada.

Murren was a lifelong Republican before he broke ranks last year and endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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