Posted February 25, 2014

Lobbyist looking to ban gay players from the NFL has a gay brother

Roger Goodell
Jack Burkman would tell you that there's a reason nobody else is sitting on this bench.

Jack Burkman doesn’t believe Michael Sam should be allowed to play in the NFL. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

If Missouri defensive end Michael Sam thought it would be all sunshine and rainbows when he announced that he was the first openly gay player to enter the NFL draft … well, he wouldn’t have announced it at all. Sam is far too smart to believe that he wouldn’t encounter resistance on and off the field. Trailblazers always do.

One of the more ridiculous efforts against Sam is one by powerful lobbyist Jack Burkman, who said in a Monday statement that he is preparing legislation that would ban all gay players from the NFL.

“We are losing our decency as a nation,” Burkman’s statement said. “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?”

What has this nation come to, indeed. When open discrimination in clear violation of labor laws and the league’s collective bargaining agreement is couched in the most elementary type of fear-mongering, we have indeed reverted back to the days when Joseph McCarthy spoke for every blind, paranoid half-wit in America. Which Michael Sam himself intimated in a recent tweet.

“If the NFL has no morals and no values, then Congress must find values for it,” Burkman concluded in a statement.

Burkman runs one of the most successful and influential lobbying firms in Washington. Burkman Associates signed 70 new clients in 2013, the most of any such firm, in a recent review conducted by TheHill.com. Burkman has also served on counsel to the law firm Holland & Knight, which quickly distanced itself from him on the heels of his latest effort.

In a statement, the firm said that it “is proud of its support of the LGBT community and we condemn Jack Burkman’s current efforts. Mr. Burkman’s employment with Holland & Knight ended almost 12 years ago. He was a lawyer in our Washington office from October 1998 to May 2002.”

Someone else who doesn’t think much of Burkman’s efforts is his brother, Jim, an anesthesiologist who lives in Seattle.

“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 on Monday. “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.

“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.”

In an interview with HuffPo, Jack Burkman admitted that conservatives like himself usually don’t want the government intervening in their personal lives. But when those horrible demons are under one’s bed, it’s time for an exception to the rule, or something like that.

“There are times when that is trumped for reason of great urgency or necessity,” Burkman concluded. “And I think this is it, because I see the society sliding in the wrong direction … 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,” he said, “I figured, well, it is time for conservatives in Congress to step in and define morality for them.”

Burkman saw no parallel between this initiative and the one that kept black players out of Major League Baseball for decades. Because that would be, you know, bigotry.

“That is a completely different thing, a different issue. Race, skin color, have nothing to do with it,” he said. “This is not about bigotry. It is about common decency and civility. Society is moving to a point where we are going to have unisex bathrooms and the next generation thinks that is OK.”

Burkman did say that he’d feel a bit better about gay people playing in the NFL if they used separate bathrooms in the locker room. Perhaps they could use separate water fountains, too. And different lunch counters. And different hotels and movie theaters. Because, you see, this is not at all about bigotry. Really. Not in the least.

Burkman ended his interview with the time-tested “I have gay friends” gambit, insisting that his gay friends, whoever they may be, would respect what he is doing.

“I would hope that they would respect that a person is doing what he thinks is good public policy and doing what he thinks is right for the country.”

Friends, maybe. Brothers, not so much.

74 comments
Richard B
Richard B

He sure uses the word appease a lot. Must be stuck in the 1940s.

BigBlueJuju
BigBlueJuju

The notion that a gay player doesn't have the right to pursue any work opportunity that he is qualified for is silly.  This lobbyist knows that and he is simply playing to his base looking for more clients.  He has no chance of succeeding with this foolishness.  


That being said, I do think some sort of accommodation should be considered.  If any straight players feel uncomfortable showering with someone who might be sexually attracted to them, then that needs to be taken into account.  Nobody believes that the gay player is going to rape or come on to a straight guy in the shower, that's ridiculous.  But we do need to consider that some straight players might feel uncomfortable.

pipdmx33
pipdmx33

Jack Burkman is definitely gay, right? Why else would he care this much?

DanielC.Smith
DanielC.Smith

Like, what's he going to do in the shower, rape someone?

Kevin11
Kevin11

I bet everybody has showered with a gay man or woman, whether they were aware or not.

Don12
Don12

Trying to legislate is a dumb idea. Not that Congress would love nothing more than to waste taxpayer money with hearings and investigations rather than find a solution for the economy but because our current culture has absolutely no concept of morality. Watch out America, right on the heels of legalizing pot will be tolerance for incest.

MoeLarryJesus
MoeLarryJesus

Jack Burkman is a vicious, ignorant bigot and a mainstream Republican.

DSM
DSM

Why is he ok with his gay doctor brother seeing boy patients naked, but not gay football players showering near a gay? And who appointed him head of the players' union?

nacha
nacha

@StanleyJonesWhy would you think that someone who reads and believes the bible HAD to be a bigot??? At the risk of more of your stupidity, I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses. People who happen to BELIEVE in the bible's words, "God is not partial." We aren't either.

rentistoohigh
rentistoohigh

Positive thoughts people...positive thoughts...turn on some ambient flute music and think:


Jerry Jones would likely buy or rent a gay if if would bring him a ring...even changing the Cowboys name to the Dallas Buyers Club


Whoever drafts him should sign Tim Tebow....a perfect mentor


Do you really want gay affirmative action quotas in the NFL ?


He just be another rookie riding the bench in SFO


and yes ...he could serve in the army the Pat Tillman way.... 


Positive thoughts....meditate on these.....

winehound
winehound

I was a professional actor for twenty years and shared many a tight dressing room with a lot of gay guys, nothing ever happened in those dressing rooms, ever.  And these were much more flamboyant stereo typical gays. We were all too busy trying to do our jobs. I got hit on at a few parties but you know what- it never bothered me because I wasn't gay. I really wish you idiots out there realized you have free will to make your own life choices. Truthfully, I would be more worried if a priest wanted to join the NFL!

ChadCollins9
ChadCollins9

I love the people that scream "bigot" to people who do not agree with homosexuality.  Look up the definition of the term.  You are actually the bigots because you WILL NOT accept ANY different view point. 

GeneMartin
GeneMartin

I woudn't eat in a restaurant that would serve a Jack Burkman. I am sure one day in the near future Mr. Burkman will come out of the closet.

nacha
nacha

Very good point

sybil
sybil

I don't remember a Burkman sponsoring NFL morality legislation when Brett Favre was texting pictures of his private parts to female reporters.

StanleyJames
StanleyJames

Typical repub right winger - want to segregate gays,  want to use women as baby factories, when will they say women cant drive.  On another blog this type of walking rot said in effect Jews deserved the holocaust because they wouldn't convert. Wonder if he was Cheering when that Kluxer  murdered Dr. MLK

nacha
nacha

This whole world is spinning out of the comfortable orbit we used to know. Everything is changing outwardly. There have been homosexuals since Sodom and Gomorrah, probably before. Remember the show "Coach"? When Dauber was asked how he would feel is a homosexual was on the team, what did he reply? " I didn't mind when I was a player, why would I mind as a coach?" This was how long ago? These areas are coming to light because Satan is pushing his will very,very hard. Some of us need to grow up into the 21st century and read the handwriting on the wall.

Robert96
Robert96

Oh, let Sam go to Russia for a vacation and give a wet kiss to his lover in public or to any Muslin country and do the same...........or to most African countries and do the same.......Hmmmmm?

What do you think would happen?

Robert96
Robert96

Just ask his teammates.........Would you go out to dinner with Sam if you were the only one present? Or, would you go on a fishing trip with him, alone?  Would you take a general population shower with him if everyone else had left the locker room?...........need I say more?

JohnMalichky
JohnMalichky

@pipdmx33  maybe because he is really pro gay rights and is just doing this to get all the pro gay people fired up.  You know like the liberals put fake racist signs in Tea Party meetings to try to discredit the organization by making the other side look bad?  Also, this dude is a NOBODY.  He has like 12 twitter followers.  The average 8 year old has more sway.

JohnMalichky
JohnMalichky

@DanielC.Smith  what would a man in the women's shower do with 30 women showering?  rape someone with 30 witnesses??

JohnMalichky
JohnMalichky

@MoeLarryJesus  he's obviously a liberal stooge trying to pretend he's conservative.  He even admitted he wasn't serious and the liberal mafia blew it all out of proportion

MatthewMinor
MatthewMinor

Hahahahahahahaha! Made my day with that comment!

JohnMalichky
JohnMalichky

@DSM  he has no power at all.  This was only a joke and you fell for it.

Mike D2
Mike D2

@rentistoohigh  Please log off the internet and don't forget to pay your rent. You win today's nutjob award.

JohnMalichky
JohnMalichky

@winehound  I know many male and female models who change in front of each other too and no one ever got raped.  So does that mean boys and girls should shower together in high school?  

AF Whigs
AF Whigs

@ChadCollins9 :  No, you're allowed to have your own views.  You're allowed to discriminate against whoever you want to.  But others have the right to believe you're an idiot.

45andhatched
45andhatched

@sybil He doesn't care about Ray Rice or any other litany of morality clauses either.  That's usually how it works with these bible thumpers, read (and misinterpret) one line of scripture to justify their desire to mistreat and hurt innocent people.  It's hard to imagine a story about a more insufferable "human being". 

nyy61
nyy61

@sybil  Selective morality.  By the way, apparently those passes were not only incomplete, they were intercepted.  Typical late-career Farve.   

brandon0206
brandon0206

@StanleyJames  Congratulations on making yourself just as bigoted and ignorant as this guy. You must feel great about yourself. 

MC55
MC55

@nacha  Well, if your going to drag in the total mythical idea of religion and satan into this discussion then, yeah, your right.


StanleyJames
StanleyJames

@nacha   SAtan - another of those scary monsters we are supposed to fear. Bet you thought that when scotus trashed all the 16 of once 41 state bans on inter-racal marrriage, your screech was you couldnt protect the purity of the white race.


have a nice day

Mike D2
Mike D2

@Robert96  Well it's a great thing this is America then. If you prefer to live in Russia, "any Muslim country" as you put it, or developing African countries, please go ahead. Please report back on your quality of life after you spend a few months in those wonderful bastions of freedom. 

Lohikaarme
Lohikaarme

@Robert96  How about going to a Muslin country and start preaching Christianity or going to Russia and asking for for more freedom of the press? What do you think it will happen?

Mike D2
Mike D2

@Robert96  What do you think happens when gay people get alone with straight people? They just can't help themselves? I think what you are struggling with is confidence in your own sexual identity, therefore you are terrified of ever being alone with a gay man. Someone might think you are gay too, and you clearly aren't ready to deal with that yet.

AF Whigs
AF Whigs

@Robert96 :  What, you've never eaten a meal alone with another man before?  Why, because you're worried that that somehow screams "homosexual" to the world?  What about a fishing trip?  If three guys go fishing is that a love triangle in your book?  So many activities to worry about, if it's just you and another man!  My oh my!  What if you were riding in a car with another man?  What would people think?!?!


Robert:  your best bet is to stay at home all by yourself, lest someone peg you as a homosexual because that would clearly be the worst thing in the world.


Normal, well-adjusted people don't care what other people think, and we generally outgrow the kind of thinking you're demonstrating by high school.

nybill
nybill

@Robert96  

Yeah, I would, because I am comfortable enough in my skin that I don't care whether or not someone is gay or not. The real answer to your question is you and the rest of the bozos on here project how they think about women onto the way gay men think about other men, and that says a lot about you. Gay men don't act towards other men the way straight men do towards women, they don't think they have the right to leer at them, touch them or as too many men do, force them to have sex with them. I have been in gym showers with men I knew were gay, and all they were were other guys showering, and in terms of behavior it was the macho, alpha male investment banker and ex jock types who behaved like morons that made others uncomfortable, the ones who never grew up. I would go on a fishing trip with Sam, or dinner, and I would be proud to buy him dinner, he has a lot more guts then the redneck trash posting their bile on here.

StanleyJames
StanleyJames

@Robert96 Damn your obsessed with other guys boy parts.


Hint - the record books say about 11 inches. Pls satisfy your cravings by going to ebay and get a toy to masturbate your prostate gland

nyy61
nyy61

@Robert96  I'd go out to dinner with him in a heartbeat.  Always nice to spend time with people of character.  You I'd avoid like the plague.  And why this obsession with showering with Sam? Wish-fulfillment? 

Mike D2
Mike D2

@rentistoohigh  So your take on allowing gay's in the NFL is that there will thenbe rape in the showers? Where were you educated, I'm dying to know. I think you are struggling with your own sexuality, which is why you fear gay people.

brandon0206
brandon0206

@StanleyJames @nacha  Only white people are stupid enough to compare the gay rights movement to civil rights. Go say that around a crowd of black people and listen to how hard they laugh at you. 

StanleyJames
StanleyJames

@Lohikaarme @Robert96  the enemy of my enemy is my friend  Robert 96- the saudis about once a weeK  ""all people to witness punishment"  - in chop chop square in Riyhad

brandon0206
brandon0206

@StanleyJames @Robert96  I don't agree with Robert96, but by responding to every critic by calling them gay, you are really no better than he is. Just another backwards idiot stuck in a playground mentality as an adult. Grow up. 

AF Whigs
AF Whigs

@brandon0206:  I don't think anyone's saying it's a 1 for 1 comparison, but there are certainly similarities in that people are willing to openly discriminate and bring violence to those who are different from them.  

The basic idea behind civil rights, by the way, is that everyone has the same rights.

nyy61
nyy61

@brandon0206 @StanleyJames @Robert96  I'm sorry, but given how inane his concerns are -- are we in mortal danger having dinner alone with Sam? is he a serial killer? -- @Robert 96 truly invites the derision.