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Maryland Politician Goes Off on Ravens Player for Supporting Gay Marriage

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Lil Pun, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Lil Pun

    Lil Pun Contributing Member

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    Thought about putting this in the football forum but due to the nature figured it would end up in here.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nfl--m...don-ayanbadejo-s-support-of-gay-marriage.html

    Brendon Ayanbadejo is in his 10th season as an NFL linebacker, the last five with the Baltimore Ravens. The two-time All-Pro hails from Santa Cruz, Calif., attended UCLA and throughout his career has lived a vibrant, out-of-football life.

    He's written columns for his hometown paper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel. He's fought for federal legislation requiring schools to monitor kids' physical activities and promote proper nutrition. He's worked relentlessly on environmental sustainability issues.

    And, of late, he's been a major advocate of same sex marriage, which was legalized in Maryland earlier this year but faces a ballot initiative in November.

    It's that stance, and Ayanbadejo's actions in support, that found him under the wrath of a local pastor and state house of delegates-member Emmett C. Burns Jr. (D-Baltimore County).

    Burns went nuts last week, firing off a letter on Maryland House of Delegate letterhead to Ravens owner Steven Bisciotti seeking action against Ayanbadejo.

    "I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Raven Football player," Burns wrote in the letter first obtained by WBAL-TV. "Many of my constituents and your football supporters are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens Football Team would step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or the other.

    "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," Burns continued. "I believe Mr. Ayanbadejo should concentrate on football and steer clear of dividing the fan base.

    "I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football League Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employees and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing."

    Oh, boy, where to start?

    I find it inconceivable that an elected politician is in favor of an employer overriding his collectively bargained labor agreement and suddenly, and illegally, taking action to inhibit political activity.

    I find it even more inconceivable that anyone – let alone a government official – would demand the employer act like a pseudo government and wipe out the freedom of expression in a debate on equal rights.

    This isn't hate speech or a slur, it's participating in a ballot initiative on a law that Burns' own fellow politicians just passed.

    Of course, that's no more inconceivable than someone who believes sports has no place being anything more than "entertainment" and "excitement." He apparently missed the impact of Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Tommie Smith, John Carlos and so on and so on and so on.

    Tim Tebow being one of those "so ons."

    Then again, how do you figure out someone who is apparently troubled that an NFL football player would say or do something that's not in complete agreement with every single NFL fan? February's Super Bowl was viewed by 166.8 million people, we're pretty sure that includes someone from every single way of thinking imaginable.

    And, of course, Burns is a fool if he thinks there aren't gay Ravens fans out there. Or even gay Ravens. Or just straight people, deeply religious even, who because of Ayanbadejo's work on the issue now consider him their favorite player.

    Oh, and Burns isn't real strong on the rules of capitalization either.

    For the record, the Ravens declined comment to The Washington Post on the letter. Don't expect anything to come of it. The league has a long and proper history of allowing players to express themselves.

    None of this is about whether you support or oppose gay marriage in Maryland or anywhere else. Go ahead and debate that among yourselves.

    It's about the idea that NFL players should be robots who simply play football and have no outside thoughts or interests. That's not who most of them are. It's the same defense that Tebow deserves when some grow angry that he honors his faith during football games. Why shouldn't he? Who is that hurting? Besides, it's not just Tebow. Go ahead and try counting how many touchdowns get scored this weekend without someone pointing to the sky.

    It's not even about gay marriage. This is about common sense and the common good. America doesn't need its natural role models – pro athletes – stifled from showing their broader interests, their intellectual curiosity, their thoughts and beliefs and education and politics.

    Ayanbadejo wasn't on the field making some big display. In his private life he's spoken on the subject, written online columns in support of the law and, The Washington Post reports, offered up two Ravens tickets as a fundraiser for the group Marylanders for Marriage Equality.

    That's what Burns considers "injurious"? Until Burns got all appalled and aghast we doubt most people even knew about it.

    We need more Brendon Ayanbadejos, not fewer, the way we need more Tim Tebows, not fewer. We need more young men aware of and engaged in the big, complex world outside the film room, not less. Let the free market place of ideas sort out who is followed or not.

    We need more NFL players who are motivated by thinking and not just acquiring material goods. We need kids to see that football is a fleeting job and that understanding a larger world is far more important. We need more examples of people respectfully standing up for what they believe in, even on a subject that is historically taboo in team locker rooms.

    This is a diverse country, diverse even inside the diversity. We need diverse role models to serve it.

    There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with Ayanbadejo. He, like Tebow, stuck his neck out there. They knew there would be disagreement and to both of their credits, they didn't complain.

    "Football is just my job it's not who I am," Ayanbadejo wrote on Twitter. "I am an American before anything. And just like every American I have the right to speak!!!"

    Indeed he does. And that right to speak – for or against this or any other legitimate issue, from nearly any point on the political spectrum – shouldn't be shouted down, shouldn't have small-minded pastors or politicians screaming for silence.

    It should be respected.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. bmb4516

    bmb4516 Member

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    Before this turns into a Republicans hate everyone thread, the state rep. was a democrat.
     
  3. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    Irrespective of Ayanbadejo's opinion on gay marriage, this Burns guy is a fool.
     
  4. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    We can read. And he's a moron.
     
  5. finalsbound

    finalsbound Contributing Member

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    good for the lulz
     
  6. atomicanderz

    atomicanderz Member

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    Democrat, Liberal, Republican, Green, whatever... We're allowed to have disagreements and discuss them, but when it comes to gay marriage and discrimination, it's time we start calling people like Burns what they are, despicable trash.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't let gay marriage decide a vote for me, but I'd sure as hell vote for this guys opponent.
     
  8. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    Yet this asshat has no qualms about influencing public opinion with his bigoted views as an elected official. Democrat or not, I hope this idiot loses his next election.
     
  9. Cannonball

    Cannonball Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I'm kind of surprised the guy is a Democrat but it doesn't matter, he's still an idiot. I bet he'd have no problem if Ayanbadejo were speaking out against marriage equality instead.
     
  10. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    The guy's an idiot, and I hope he gets voted out of office.
     
  11. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    Should probably follow Artur Davis amd join the GOP.
     
  12. Ras137

    Ras137 Contributing Member

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    I wonder if he had any comment when then Baltimore Oriole Luke Scott said fellow Democrat Obama was born outside the US.

    I know Democrats want to the big tent party but sometimes some of those people need to get out.
     
  13. mclawson

    mclawson Member

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    Surely you've read my new favorite punter's reply to all of this by now.

    I especially like part 3:
    "3. This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage, in any way shape or form, affect your life? If gay marriage becomes legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you'll start thinking about penis? "Oh ****. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!" Will all of your friends suddenly turn gay and refuse to come to your Sunday Ticket grill-outs? (Unlikely, since gay people enjoy watching football too.)

    I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. 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 percent 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. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?"
     
  14. ChievousFTFace

    ChievousFTFace Contributing Member

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  15. across110thstreet

    across110thstreet Contributing Member

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    #15 across110thstreet, Sep 7, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
  16. BetterThanI

    BetterThanI Contributing Member

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    So, Emmett C. Burns Jr. is vocally against gay marriage?

    Cue proof that Emmett C. Burns Jr. is secretly a homosexual in 3...2...1...
     
  17. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    He is on the "down low"?
     
  18. RudyTBag

    RudyTBag Contributing Member
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    Great, great post my friend.

    Folks that oppose gay marriage are scientifically illiterate, and it should not be tolerated.

    Less holy books, more Anthro books.
     
  19. IzakDavid13

    IzakDavid13 Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    I don't think that post you quoted asks that Burns not be able to speak publicly just that people like that not be tolerated. I guess I was presuming he meant tolerated in office.

    Maybe I'm wrong.
     

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