The punter for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings has joined the scrimmage over same-sex marriage in Maryland, writing a hard-hitting letter to one of the measure’s most vocal opponents, Del. Emmett C. Burns.
Burns (D-Baltimore County) last week penned a letter to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens, asking him to silence linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo’s outspoken support for Maryland’s November ballot measure that would allow gay nuptials.
“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 wrote to Ravens owner Steve Biscotti. “I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football Franchise Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions.”
Vikings punter Chris Kluwe offered a very different view in a colorful, profanity-laced letter this week to Burns.
“As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom,” Kluwe wrote. “By using your position as an elected official . . . to state that the Ravens should ‘inhibit such expressions’ . . . you [are] clearly violating the First Amendment. . . . What on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid?
More from Kluwe: “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. . . . 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.”
Kluwe explained his rationale for writing the letter during an appearance Friday night on “The Ed Show” on MSNBC.
Ayanbadejo has also received support, in more traditional terms, from the Ravens organization and the president of the NFL players association.