So here’s the backstory: Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has spoken out in favor of a Maryland ballot initiative that would legalize gay marriage. Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. then wrote a letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, published on Yahoo, in which he urged Mr. Bisciotti to “inhibit such expressions from your employee.”
NFL Players Association President Dominique Foxworth told the Baltimore Sun on Friday that Mr. Burns’ letter was “frustrating and disappointing.”
“I don’t know if I can come up with a strong enough word, but his request was asinine,” Mr. Foxworth, who played on the Ravens with Mr. Ayanbadejo, said. He added: “I think Brendon’s commendable. To step out into the fire and say something controversial, that’s not something that comes lightly.”
Fans and other NFL players have been supportive of Mr. Ayanbadejo’s stance on gay marriage, most notably Minnesota Vikings Punter Chris Kluwe, who wrote an open letter to Rep. Burns which was first published on the sports website Deadspin.
After acknowledging that some people (including his dad) were bothered by the, er, strong language in his original letter, Mr. Kluwe posted a “clean” version of the letter on his own blog site, Out of Bounds. I’m going to quote the “clean” one because it’s actually even more awesome.
I love that Mr. Kluwe stands up and speaks out on a topic he believes in. NFL players–all professional sports players–are, like it or not, role models. When a 6’4″, 215-pound professional football player speaks, people tend to listen. I’ll be showing my kids his “clean” version and talking to them about the importance of Mr. Cluwe using his platform to speak out on what he believes in.
Plus? He’s an amazing writer. The use of the phrase DISAPPOINTED LEMUR FACE WITH SOLITARY TEAR TRICKLING DOWN TO CHIN to replace “holy f**king s**tballs” has had me giggling all morning.
Dear Emmett C. Burns Jr.,
I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of the United States government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level. The views you espouse neglect to consider several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail (you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words):
1. As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom. By using your position as an elected official (when referring to your constituents so as to implicitly threaten the Ravens organization) to state that the Ravens should “inhibit such expressions from your employees”, more specifically Brendon Ayanbadejo, not only are you clearly violating the First Amendment, you also come across as a BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE SPARKLEPONY. What on earth would possess you to be so mind-bogglingly stupid?
Beautifully unique sparklepony indeed.
2. “Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and excitement.” DISAPPOINTED LEMUR FACE WITH SOLITARY TEAR TRICKLING DOWN TO CHIN. Did you seriously just say that, as someone who’s “deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland”? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you’re going to say that political views have “no place in a sport”?
Mr. Kluwe continues:
I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero affect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful FROLICKING OSTRICH. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90% of our population, rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children.
In closing, Mr. Kluwe offers Rep. Burns “best of luck in the next election; I’m fairly certain you might need it.”
(Photo Credit: Official Minnesota Vikings Photo)
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