GOP Lobbyist Wants To Ban Gay Players From The NFL

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February 25, 2014 9:46 a.m.

A Republican lobbyist in Washington wants to introduce legislation in Congress that would prohibit gay people from playing in the National Football League — and he says he’s already lining up congressional sponsors.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Jack Burkman, the CEO of Burkman LLC, said he had five members in the House and one senator who would put their weight behind the bill. He predicted up to 36 House members and up to five senators would join the effort in the next three weeks.

Burkman declined to name any of the supportive lawmakers and no official language for the legislation has been released. He started preparing the bill after Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out as gay this month — which, if he is selected in April’s NFL draft, would make him the first openly gay player in the league.

“I felt that if the NFL doesn’t have any morals, and people like [NFL 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 Huffington Post, “I figured, well, it is time for conservatives in Congress to step in and define morality for them.”

“This is not about bigotry. It is about common decency and civility,” he said. “Society is moving to a point where we are going to have unisex bathrooms and the next generation thinks that is OK.”

Burkman’s firm represents clients in a variety of industries, including energy and construction.

The Post also interviewed Burkman’s brother Jim, a Seattle anesthesiologist who is gay, who dismissed the potential legislation as “just hurtful and ridiculous and just plain stupid.”

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