In the “debate” over NFL prospect Michael Sam, his now-public homosexuality, and whether a league full of testosterone driven head smashers has a place for an openly gay player, the focus momentarily shifted to Seattle yesterday.
Blatantly ignoring the fact that the NFL has, in fact, had gay players for a long time now—and almost surely since its inception—a GOP lobbyist recently started pushing a bill that would ban gay players from the NFL.
The lobbyist’s name is Jack Burkman, and he’s the CEO of Burkman Associates LLC. As the Huffington Post reported, yesterday he announced that he “had multiple members of Congress lined up to support his anti-gay bill.” While the Huffington post is quick to point out that Burkman “declined to name those members” of Congress, and that his announcement “came in the form of a press release, giving it the scent of a finely crafted political publicity stunt,” it still elicited a strong response from those with enough sense to spot hateful bigotry when they see it.
And one of the people providing a response was Seattle anesthesiologist Dr. Jim Burkman, Jack’s gay brother.
“I think the idea that he is pushing legislation that is just hurtful and ridiculous is just plain stupid. He is not a legislator and he can’t really push legislation. I don’t think there are any cosponsors 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,” Jim Burkman tells the Huffington Post. “He is my brother and I love him, and we don’t see eye-to-eye on any political issues, certainly gay rights. But I told him years ago he should back off on gay issues, and if he ever crosses the line I would be happy to speak up as his gay brother. Today I felt he crossed the line.”
You can find the entire Huffington Post article here.