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MGM Resorts chief denounces bigotry in letter to employees

MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren sent a letter to employees Friday that denounced equality-threatening violence and bigotry, and said the casino company would match employees’ donations to a collection of civil rights groups.

In the letter, a copy of which was forwarded to the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Saturday, Murren said the Aug. 12 violence during a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to three deaths, and the Thursday terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain, that left 13 people dead, could “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.”

Murren wrote that protecting human dignity, demonstrated by tolerance and respect for all people, is central to the identity of MGM Resorts, which operates 10 Strip hotel-casinos and employs 77,000 people globally.

He wrote that the First Amendment guarantees free speech to all Americans and the Constitution and Civil Rights Act guarantee equality. He added, “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. You have my commitment that we will vigorously and zealously continue to reject hate speech and hate-based actions in any form.”

To express this commitment, Murren said, MGM Resorts will match employees’ donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP, Anti-defamation League, Human Rights Campaign, Council on American Islamic Relations, Asian Pacific American Advocates and the League of United Latin American Citizens.

MGM Resorts shares rose 20 cents, or 0.66 percent, Friday to close at $30.71 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Contact Matthew Crowley mcrowley@reviewjournal.com. Follow @copyjockey on Twitter.

Letter to employees sent Friday by MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Scribd

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