Indiana Republican governor turned Vice President Mike Pence treated the press pool riding on his flight to Sydney, Australia on Thursday night to a showing of the 1986 basketball film "Hoosiers."
Mediaite.com said that Pence considers "Hoosiers" -- which was set and filmed in Pence's home state of Indiana -- to be "the greatest sports movie ever made."
The filmmakers behind "Hoosiers" -- director David Anspaugh and writer Angelo Pizzo -- emailed MSNBC's Steve Kornacki saying they wish Pence would convey the core message of the film to his boss President Donald Trump.
We would hope that the Vice President talks to his boss about the most important thematic through line in the movie, in that nothing can be accomplished without working together for the same goal, pulling in the same direction, “five pistons firing at the same time”. If the Huskers were made up of today’s Republicans and Democrats, Hickory’s record would have been 0-20, which is unfortunately how most people Washington (sic) now.
Mediaite's Joe DePaolo said, "The filmmakers — who also teamed up on the acclaimed sports film Rudy — have been largely out of the limelight for the past quarter-century. Each took lengthy breaks (Per iMDB, Anspaugh has only directed one film since 2006, while Pizzo wrote just one film in the 22 years that followed Rudy)."
Pence's signature act as Indiana governor was passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which enabled discrimination against LGBTQ people if the people depriving others of their civil rights were doing so out of a "sincerely held religious belief."
These so-called "religious freedom" laws are viewed by civil libertarians as a cudgel by which the religious right can flout the country's laws and discriminate at will so long as their church's ruling deity would sanction the acts.
The National College Athletics Association (NCAA) -- the largest college basketball organization in the country -- issued a stinging statement aimed at Pence and other Indiana Republicans in 2015 after the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed.
“The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events,” said NCAA president Mark Emmert. “We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees.”