The battle rages on over in America over the hot-button issue of gay marriage. Recently, this battle has been fuelled by the apparent feud between Maryland minister Emmett C Burns Jr. and various American football personalities. On Thursday, a letter emerged which had been sent from Mr Burns on the subject of Baltimore Ravens halt linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo, criticising the linebacker’s decision to publicly support same-sex marriage. Earlier that week, Ayanbadejo can be quoted as saying;
“I’m Brendon Ayanbadejo, a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. I believe we should be doing everything we can to make Maryland families stronger, which is why I support marriage for gay and lesbian couples who want to make a lifetime commitment to each other. People from all walks of life, including gay and lesbian couples, want their children to be in stable homes and protected under the law. Join me; it’s the right thing to do.”
Apparently this gave Emmett C Burns Jr. a massive case of rage indigestion, so he decided to do the mature thing as a 72 year old politician, which was of course to immediately throw his toys out of the pram, blow the dust off of his best letter-headed paper and whip off a quick letter to the owner, head, whatever guy of The Ravens (I don’t watch sport, okay?) to tell him to GAG HIS PLAYERS so as not to offend the “fans” (i.e, him). This letter included such literary gems as;
“Dear Mr Bisciotti, As a Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly and a Baltimore Ravens Football fan, I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr Brendon Ayenbadejo, would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically, as a Raven Football player.”
First of all, I find it hilarious that the boss of the Ravens shares his name with a type of biscuit, but that’s besides the point. The fact that Burns finds it “inconceivable” that Ayenbadejo supports same sex marriage is completely ridiculous. This suggests to me that he is also the kind of man who is awed and amazed when the big white box in his kitchen makes food hot every dinner time, and that the soda machine in his office magically knows which soda he wants based of a little button he pressed seconds earlier. There is no way that he found it “inconceivable”. One finds the sheer scale of the universe “inconceivable”. One finds the idea that a person could read minds and contact the dead “inconceivable”. Supporting gay marriage is not inconceivable. I think the phrase Burns was so desperately reaching for here was “I find it gross that one of your players… Would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage because I do not share his opinion and gay sex frightens me.”.
Burns goes on to state in his letter, “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”. When did Mr Ayenbadejo become simply a football player, and stop being a human being? As far as I know, he didn’t stand up in the middle of a game and make his statement on same sex marriage. He made the statement in his own time, as an American, with thoughts and opinions, rather than a football player, a group of people who are apparently only capable of kicking a ball and not of any cognitive thought. Along with this, I don’t believe that fans need to worry about a players opinion on political matters. Unless two players actually start indulging in anal intercourse slap bang in the center of the football field, nobody needs to stress out about opinions on homosexuality affecting the game.
But, why listen to me on these matters? In fact, don’t listen to me. Instead, listen to Chris Kluwe. Chris Kluwe is a punter for the Vikings, and altogether bad-ass who is one day going to marry me and sire my children. He doesn’t know this yet, but it’s a universal truth and it’s going to happen. Chris Kluwe was apparently spurred into action by the Maryland politician’s letter, and wrote a truly excellent response. I urge you to look it up, and keep in mind, if the pro-gay marriage/anti-gay marriage debate ever dissolves into an out-and-out physical fight for supremacy, we have the football players on our side.