Minnesota Viking punter Chris Kluwe has
come to the aid of Brendon Ayanbadejo, who has come under attack for
his support of gay marriage.
In October, Baltimore Ravens linebacker
Ayanbadejo became the first professional athlete to endorse the
Marylanders for Marriage Equality campaign, which successfully
lobbied for passage of a bill legalizing gay nuptials in the state.
Opponents of the law gathered sufficient signatures to put the
measure up to a popular vote in November.
Maryland Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr, a
vocal opponent of gay rights, penned a letter to Ravens owner Steven
Disciotti in which he claimed that Ayanbadejo's opinions were
dividing the team's fan base.
“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,” Burns wrote on official Maryland House stationary.
“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. 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.”
On Friday, Kluwe, who previously
recorded a video opposing a proposed amendment to the Minnesota
Constitution which would define marriage as heterosexual union, wrote
a scathing and lengthy reply to Burns.
“I find it inconceivable that you are
an elected official of Maryland's state government. Your vitriolic
hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you
are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level.”
“It baffles me that a man such as
yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue
your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the
state, could somehow justify stifling another person's right to
speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the
word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a
“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 shit. Gay
marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!'”
“Do the civil-rights struggles of the
past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?”
In a postscript, Kluwe added: “I've
also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage. So you can
take your 'I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr.
Ayanbadejo is doing' and shove it in your close-minded, totally
lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.”
Kluwe calls Minnesota's gay marriage ban anti-American.)