As an openly gay player, Michael Sam’s brief time in the NFL has been plagued with challenges, the likes of which most football players have never seen. And though Sam caught a major break this week when he was signed to the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad, some people aren’t happy about his new deal, namely a Christian group called American Decency, who plan to protest the signing.
According to RawStory, GOP lobbyist Jack Burkman is leading the charge for the protest against Sam, saying that “thousands” of right-wing Christians will protest Sunday in Arlington, Texas, where the Cowboys will play their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
“We cannot just stand idly by as Christian values and morals are trampled,” said Jack Burkman, the GOP lobbyist working to keep Sam out of the NFL. “We will do whatever we can to preserve family values in this country.”
Burkman previously tried to create legislation to bar openly gay athletes from playing in the NFL, but, ironically, his openly gay brother, Jim Burkman, claims Jack was simply using the proposed bill as a publicity stunt.
“I think the idea that he is pushing legislation that is just hurtful and ridiculous is just plain stupid,” said Jim Burkman, an anesthesiologist who is openly gay. “He is not a legislator and he can’t really push legislation. I don’t think there are any cosponsors 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.”
Burkman claims that a boycott would’ve cost the Rams “tens of millions” when they still had Sam on their draft roster. Now, he claims that cost will fall on the shoulders — and the wallets — of the Cowboys.
“Jerry Jones has betrayed American values, Christian values, and his own city’s values,” Burkman said. “The people of Dallas — and Christians all across this land — are about to make him pay a huge financial price. The Cowboys are no longer America’s team.”
That’s a pretty strong claim, but considering that the Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is a fan of publicity, and that the defense-starved Cowboys need a player like Sam, we’re doubtful that a protest is going to result in him getting dropped. Then again, who would’ve thought that someone with Sam’s stats would go this long without being signed to a permanent roster? – nicholas robinson