Michael Sam, who could soon be the NFL's first openly homosexual player
, took to Twitter this week to slam the Republican lobbyist pushing for a bill to ban gay players from the league.
Sam, who was a standout star at the University of Missouri and will likely be a top pick in the upcoming NFL draft, came out earlier this month. Now, he's lashing out against Jack Burkman, a conservative activist who on Monday urged legislators to get behind his anti-gay bill.
Burkman, CEO of the lobbying firm Burkman Associates LLC, announced Monday that he has drafted a bill seeking to ban gay players from the NFL to prevent "society sliding in the wrong direction."
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"We are losing our decency as a nation," Burkman said in a press release put out by his own firm. "Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man. That’s a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?"
He told The Huffington Post that the bill has already garnered interest
from five members of the House of Representatives and one senator, and he expects dozens more to join his crusade in the next three weeks. Burkman, however, would not name any of the politicians — something The Post noted gives off the "unmistakable whiff of a publicity stunt."
"I felt that if the NFL doesn't have any morals, and people like [Commissioner] Roger Goodell, who are just go-along-get-along guys, just want to appease advertisers, appease corporate America and all that stuff," Burkman told The Post. "I figured, well, it is time for conservatives in Congress to step in and define morality for them."
Ironically, Burkman's own brother is a gay man. In an interview with The Post, Jim Burkman said he feels his brother has "crossed the line."
"I think the idea that he is pushing legislation that is just hurtful and ridiculous
is just plain stupid," Jim Burkman told the Huffington Post. "He is not a legislator and he can’t really push legislation. I don't think there are any co-sponsors for a bill. It is just an attention grab and a media grab to pander to those folks who pay him to lobby on their behalf."
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