“I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Raven Football player. 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. … 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.”
Okay. He's old. He's religious. He's a dinosaur. Agreed.
But the letter, which was made public, then caught the attention ofMinnesota Vikings' punter Chris Kluwe who made his feelings known in no uncertain terms.
"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." Holy fucking shitballs. Did you seriously just say that, as someone who's "deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland"? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you're going to say that political views have "no place in a sport"? I can't even begin to fathom the cognitive dissonance that must be coursing through your rapidly addled mind right now; the mental gymnastics your brain has to tortuously contort itself through to make such a preposterous statement are surely worthy of an Olympic gold medal (the Russian judge gives you a 10 for "beautiful oppressionism").
Needless to say, Burns' ears pricked up and he has since recanted. In an interview made public today, the preacher wrote, ""Upon reflection, he has his First Amendment rights and I have my First Amendment rights. … Each of us has the right to speak our opinions. The football player and I have a right to speak our minds."
That was fast. It won't change many of the positions of those of a certain age and cultural demographic but it's nice to see how quickly the white hot sting of blatant bigotry is slowly receding insofar as gay equality is concern.
But what puzzles me is why the battle to end employment discrimination - a form of discrimination that affects a far wider swath of the LGBTQ public - isn't been addressed, let alone met, with the same aggressive public outrage that same-sex marriage is fielding? I mean, didn't a recent poll declare our community's overwhelming concern for the economy? If it did, we sure aren't translating that into action.
But why is that? Why does it seem like the LGBTQ community is so much more concerned about marriage rights than employment rights? I'll tell you what I think. I think that's what happens when our agenda is set by a bunch of mostly middle-class white people many of whom have jobs in progressive companies or who are entrepreneurs and who are gainfully employed. I also think that the criticisms lobbed at Presidential candidate Mitt Romney - he has no sense of the struggles of the middle and lower classes and that he's uncomfortable around people of color - can be equally applied to the white middle-class of the LGBTQ community who currently set our agenda. And unless you are born into wealth, have inherited a large sum of money or have won a lottery, I see you going a lot further in this lifetime without a spouse than without a job.
© 2012, Victor Hoff. All rights reserved. Menofcolor.blogs.com