On the week that Missouri's Michael Sam is trying his best to tone down the talk of his sexuality and increase that of his football skill, a lobbyist is trying to prevent Sam and other gay athletes from getting the chance to reach their dreams.
Washington, D.C. lobbyist Jack Burkman said on Monday he is preparing legislation that would ban gay athletes from joining the NFL, according to a story in TheHill.com. Burkman, who got the idea for the bill when Sam announced he was gay two weeks ago, claimed in a statement he had political support for the bill but neglected to mention from which specific lawmakers.
”We are losing our decency as a nation,” Burkman said in a statement. "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?”
Sam faced the media on Saturday at the NFL scouting combine and handled himself extremely well. One of Sam's lasting quotes was how he hoped to shift the discussion away from his sexual preference to that of how he's preparing to become an NFL draft pick.
"Well, heck yeah, I wish you guys [the media] would just say, 'Michael Sam, how's football going? How's training going?'" he said. "I would love for you to ask me that question. But it is what it is. And I just wish you guys would just see me as Michael Sam the football player instead of Michael Sam the gay football player."
Burkman is trying to prevent any gay football players from earning their keep in the NFL. The president and founder of his own lobbying firm, Burkman Associates, Burkman urged in his statement for Congress — despite dozens of members having supported Sam after he came out — to throw its support behind the bill.
“If the NFL has no morals and no values, then Congress must find values for it,” Burkman said.
Sam, who worked out on the Lucas Oil Stadium field for coaches and scouts on Monday, turned in a fairly disappointing performance at the combine. He projects to be a mid-to-late-round prospect as a pass rusher.
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