When football, same-sex marriage and politics collide
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is becoming well-known off the field for his support of same-sex marriage.
September 8th, 2012
02:48 PM ET

When football, same-sex marriage and politics collide

In his 10th NFL season, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is catching more attention for his political views than his special teams talents. And after a Maryland politician slammed his views on same-sex marriage, other NFL players are stepping up to defend Ayanbadejo's freedom of speech.

Ayanbadejo is a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage. He filmed video shorts for Equality Maryland and even wrote about same-sex marriage for the Huffington Post in 2009.

State lawmaker and minister Emmett C. Burns Jr. is a self-described Ravens fan, but in a letter sent to team owner Steve Bisciotti, Burns said it was "inconceivable" that Ayanbadejo was publicly endorsing same-sex marriage.

In the letter, written on August 29 and obtained by Yahoo! Sports, Burns wrote, "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. 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 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. I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing."

In March, Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley legalized same-sex marriage in Maryland, but the law doesn't take effect until 2013.

Amid the political convention-themed tweets filling his profile, Ayanbadejo responded on his Twitter page with this: "Football is just my job it's not who I am. I am an American before anything. And just like every American I have the right to speak!"

On Friday, he made a statement thanking Burns: "I'd have to thank him more than anything for bringing national attention to the issue." He also expressed surprise that Burns would try to silence him.

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wrote a letter for Deadspin. Laced with graphic language and disgust, he berated Burns for his views.

"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," Kluwe wrote. "The views you espouse neglect to consider several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail (you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words)."

Kluwe went on to address (in the great detail he mentioned) the facets of the First Amendment, Burns' comment about athletes speaking out on issues, freedom in general and how little same-sex marriage would affect Burns' life.

"I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life," Kluwe wrote.

On Saturday, Kluwe published an edited version of the letter on the Twin Cities "Out of Bounds" blog, as well as a response to people complaining about his use of "colorful insults" in the original letter.

"The swearing is there for a reason," he wrote. "What Emmett C. Burns Jr. wrote, what I responded to, was far more disgusting and foul minded than any simple scatological reference or genital mashup."

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley also tweeted in support of Ayanbadejo - even though he's not "pro Raven about anything."

NFL Players Association President Domonique Foxworth told The Baltimore Sun that he was "disappointed" in Burns.

"I don’t know if I can come up with a strong enough word, but his request was asinine," Foxworth told the newspaper. "I think Brendon’s commendable. To step out into the fire and say something controversial, that’s not something that comes lightly."

On Friday, Ayanbadejo told The Baltimore Sun that team president Dick Cass let him know that the Ravens supported Ayanbadejo's ability to voice his opinion, and in a statement, Cass let everyone know that "We support Brendon's right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment" as an organization that doesn't discriminate.

What do you think about the dueling letters and Ayanbadejo's support of same-sex marriage that started it all? Let us know in the comments below.

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Filed under: Football • Politics • Pro football • Same-sex marriage • Sports
soundoff (768 Responses)
  1. Steelers Fan

    I'm glad we live in a country where he can express his views.

    I'm with Woodley, I'm not pro Ravens but I am pro-American and pro-First Ammendment

    September 8, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Terri

    "I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing."
    Well there is at least one player willing to stand up for a minority in our society. Maybe his speaking up will encourage others as well. This "minister" really has no business trying to silence the player. And this issue shouldn't be an issue, equal rights should be a given in a free society.

    September 8, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      terri: "equal rights should be given in a free society."

      Which merely assumes what you're trying to prove. Namely, that equal rights are at stake.

      But gays and straights are treated equally, aren't they? A gay man has a right to marry a woman, and a straight man has a right to marry a woman.

      But, naturally, you mean "equality" on some "deeper" level. But if that's so, you'll have to explain what that equality is. Is it the bare right to marry "whoever you love"? If so, you'll have to accept poly-gamous and sibling marriages.

      Or are you bigoted against those relationships because you think they're icky?

      September 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Well there are at least three now, lol.

      September 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadflie

      Sorry Nah, that argument didn't work when it was described as "all people have the right to go to school with members of their own race". It's no better now.

      September 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      gad: "Sorry Nah, that argument didn't work when it was described as "all people have the right to go to school with members of their own race". It's no better now."

      Did you even read the comment?

      Your response is bafflingly irrelevant.

      September 8, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nada

      As long as the woman has the right to have as many husbands as the man has wives, why not?
      And if you want to marry your sister/brother, Nah, I'm sure you're clever enough to figure out a way how to do so.
      Are you now going to complete your slippery slope scenario and talk about children and animals who cannot give consent?

      September 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      nada: "Are you now going to complete your slippery slope scenario and talk about children and animals who cannot give consent?"

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but slippery slopes aren't fallacies when the same argument that justifies one thing justifies the other.

      In this case, the argument is that you have a bare right to "marry who you love". However, that necessarily includes all sorts of "wrong" relationships - from ones including animals to children. Even assuming that those can be taken out of the "right" (on independent grounds), you're left with inc-est and polygamy at the very least.

      Except most people who support gay marriage are bigoted against those relationships because, usually, they have an "ick factor" that they don't like.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadflie

      Nah, again, you don't address the undeniable fact that the Supreme Court has ALREADY ruled that marriage is a civil right. Why is that? That was the justification for their ruling and integral to it. Even you must see that.

      And, well, honestly I have no problem with polygamy. So, there went that argument. Also, if you don't see the similarities from your "everyone can marry someone of the opposite gender" and separate but equal, perhaps you should get some help with the big words.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadflie

      Nah, your "marry animals and children" argument is laughable on it's face and I'm surprised that you are desperate enough to even use it. They are incapable of giving legal consent. Sorry kid.
      And, as I have said before I have no problem with polygamy. And, the health issues brought up with incest are sufficient legal justification to disallow it.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      gad: "Nah, your "marry animals and children" argument is laughable on it's face and I'm surprised that you are desperate enough to even use it. They are incapable of giving legal consent. Sorry kid."

      You really don't read the comments you respond to, do you?

      "And, as I have said before I have no problem with polygamy. And, the health issues brought up with incest are sufficient legal justification to disallow it."

      Nah. Hom- ose-xual incest has no health problems because there is no potential children. For the couples who are opposite s-ex, they can always have abortions. Hence, your desire to deny them the right to be together merely makes you a bigot.

      "animals and children"

      Sorry, but animals consent to s-ex all the time. With each other, with furniture, and so on. Why can't they consent with the human animal as well?

      September 8, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadflie

      Nah, I didn't say whether or not they consent to mating. But, they DO NOT consent to marriage. And, well, that was laughable.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      nah, how about an inalienable right to pursue happiness?

      September 8, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      nah, animals don't consent to s-ex. They aren't sentient. They follow instincts, or they follow what they are taught by humans.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      james: "nah, how about an inalienable right to pursue happiness?"

      Feeble argument. If it makes me happy, therefore I have a right to it? Hardly.

      'animals don't consent they go by instinct'

      So if an animal goes by instinct and willingly has s- ex with a human, then you can't advocate for him being charged under beas- tiality laws, can you?

      September 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      nah, strawman argument, unless you can show me an animal with a pure instinct to have intercourse with a human. Alos, consent, at least with those of us not obsessed with bestiality, implies an understanding of what you are consenting to. With animals, it's an instinctual urge not a sentient knowledge of both the act and the potential repercussions.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Geez, do you think Nah is a self loathing gay guy?

      September 9, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. Marc Ellis

    Once again, a dinosaur has spoken... It's too bad he doesn't realize he's out of date and time... EVOLVE OR DIE!

    September 8, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      It is so apparent how we are evolving into such a wonderful society. You really think society is getting better???

      September 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nah

    gadflie: "Ok, present your argument that gay marriage is NOT a civil right."

    Sorry, it's not your opposition's job to prove your assertions for you.

    But since we know you won't be forthcoming with a proof, here you go:

    First, you cannot delineate a "right" to marry that is coherent. Why? Because you can't define it.

    If you argue you have a bare right to marry, then anyone can marry any person or any thing they choose. Pol- ygamy, consensual inc- est, and so on will all be justified.

    But because those are "obviously wrong" and shouldn't be allowed, we have to excise them from our definition of marriage. And so only people who are not already married, are not related to each other, are of age, are the same species, etc. may enjoy the "right" to marry.

    Hence, we come out with a "right" to marry that's so riddled with exceptions and qualifications that it starts to look more like a privilege instead.

    Second, because marriage is a privilege it can be given or taken at will. However, it cannot be taken arbitrarily. Hence, if the government has no legitimate interest in withholding marriage from hom- os- exuals, it cannot prevent them from marrying.

    Third, however, the argument goes that "stability" is good for children. Marriage creates stability. The state incentivizes marriage by giving out tax benefits. Consequently, marriage should be opened up to those couples who generally can have children quite accidentally: heteros- exual ones.

    Pretending the issues are simple or easy to figure out shows either that you're an imbecile or a partisan.

    September 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Of course they are often accidental. Of course without intervention other couples never further the human race, if fact they just dilute it with ......

      September 8, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadflie

      Nah, even you should realize that all civil rights have some legal restrictions. But, I quote from the Supreme Courts ruling in Loving V Virginia:
      "Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival"

      September 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      gad: "ALL civil rights have legal exceptions."

      The thrust of those exceptions is that they're unjustified. Why? Because your belief in a bare "right to marry" justifies marriage between siblings and multiple partners. Hence, they can't be exceptions.

      Now if you're honest enough to say that those relationships should be recognized by the state, more power to you. But feebly trying to exclude them from the "right" to marry shows you're just as big a bigot as anyone who opposes gay marriage.

      'The Supreme Court said marriage is a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT'

      You must not be a lawyer. On the facts of the case the Supreme Court decided only that the state had no legitimate interest in preventing interracial couples from marrying.

      Beyond that, if the Supreme Court has decided - as you wrongly believe - that some general right to marry exists, you'll have to accept the polygamist's argument that he has a right to marry as many women as he pleases.

      Are you willing to do that?

      September 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadflie

      Nah, again, you don't address the undeniable fact that the Supreme Court has ALREADY ruled that marriage is a civil right. Why is that? That was the justification for their ruling and integral to it. Even you must see that.

      And, well, honestly I have no problem with polygamy. So, there went that argument.

      September 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clyde M

      Who says they are "obviously wrong," a term so potentially non-applicable that even you felt the need to put in quotes?

      September 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadflie

      Poor Nah, here is the statement that set him on this amusing quest.
      "Here's a dose of reality for you folks. Gay marriage is advancing faster than any other civil rights issue in history. In a very few years by civil rights standards, the people fighting against gay marriage will be doing what the people who stood against school integration are doing today, lying about which side they were on."
      Now, he is whining about gay marriage not being a civil right. But, he ignores the obvious history of civil rights. None of them are recognized as civil rights until AFTER the fight is won. So, his entire argument is, well, bogus. The fact remains as I originally stated.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      gad: "Now, he is whining about gay marriage not being a civil right."

      It's interesting how you don't really answer the question or stay on topic. Why is that?

      Unfortunately for you - and your lack of reading comprehension - the original debate included two things:

      (1) Whether gay marriage is, in fact, a "right".

      (2) And, whether the gay rights movement can legitimately compare itself to the civil rights movement of the 60's.

      "But, he ignores the obvious history of civil rights. None of them are recognized as civil rights until AFTER the fight is won. So, his entire argument is, well, bogus."

      So you're saying that gay marriage may or not may be a civil right, since society hasn't yet accepted it as such?

      Good job at shooting yourself in the foot again.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadflie

      You're wrong on both counts. I have already addressed the first of your points. Civil rights are generally not recognized as such until after they are "won". If you want fine examples, look at those in the middle of the last century that you keep pointing to. And, well, there's your obvious comparison to your second point.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      Besides the fact the Supreme Court has labeled it a right in cases like the one cited above, let's give your assertion a go and call it a privilege instead, just for the sake of argument...Text of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Consti.tution of the United States of America: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States..."

      So, as you say, marriage is a "privilege," not a right. How do you get around the 14th Amendment's denial of laws abridging privilege?

      Also, not a single ruling over-turning the passage of gay marriage laws has cited the lack of a right to marry, merely that the state has a compelling interest in limiting that right (which was the same excuse used in early cases protecting laws denying inter-racial marriage...an excuse that eventually lost). Maybe anonymous internet Nah is a super legal scholar, but so far not a single ACTUAL court in the country has agree that there is no fundamental right to marry or that marriage is instead a "privilege and not a right."

      September 8, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadflie

      Nah, actually I am saying it is a civil right that has not yet been legally recognized as such. Same as those you tout from the middle of the last century.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      nathan: "So, as you say, marriage is a "privilege," not a right. How do you get around the 14th Amendment's denial of laws abridging privilege?"

      Finally, someone who gives an intelligent response.

      The problem with the privileges and immunities argument for the 14th amendment is that it has no force thanks to the Slaughter House cases. Beyond that, most scholarship cites the clause as merely incorporating the Bill of Rights. It does not apply to "privileges" generally.

      "Also, not a single ruling over-turning the passage of gay marriage laws has cited the lack of a right to marry, merely that the state has a compelling interest in limiting that right"

      You're very right, but implicit in these is that there is, consequently, no "right" because it can be abrogated. Why can it be abrogated? Because marriage is merely a privilege handed out by the state. The usual "reason" for giving out marriage is to incentivize couples to stay together and have children. If that is in fact the justification for marriage, it's natural for the state to say it will give the privilege to straight couples.

      The problem with that argument is that the state doesn't then seem to have a legitimate interest in preventing gay people from marrying. Why? Because the aims of marriage are still achieved.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadflie

      Now if I could get Nah to give an intelligent response. Here is my original post again:
      "Here's a dose of reality for you folks. Gay marriage is advancing faster than any other civil rights issue in history. In a very few years by civil rights standards, the people fighting against gay marriage will be doing what the people who stood against school integration are doing today, lying about which side they were on."

      He claims that the issues that rose from this post are:
      (1) Whether gay marriage is, in fact, a "right".

      (2) And, whether the gay rights movement can legitimately compare itself to the civil rights movement of the 60's.

      But, obviously from looking at my statement, the actual points that should be addressed (ignoring my prediction at the end) is:

      1) Is Gay marriage advancing faster than any other civil rights issue in history?

      It's really that simple. Whether or not gay marriage is indeed a civil right IS the issue so obviously it is a civil rights issue. And, the only way I compared them with ANY previous civil rights struggle was by how fast they happened. And, well, it should be very easy to show if I'm incorrect. But, well, I'm not.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      gad: "And, well, it should be very easy to show if I'm incorrect. But, well, I'm not."

      You try too hard.

      Implicit in the original post was not that gay marriage is a civil rights "issue", in the sense that we're still deciding if it "is" a civil right, it was that gay marriage is in fact a civil right because people will look back and pretend they were on the "right side" of history.

      Beyond that, the comparison with the civil rights movement in the 60's came along in the discussion under your original comment.

      Hence, those were the two issues being discussed.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadflie

      Your response is nonsensical. I specifically stated that the issue was advancing, not decided. And, let's try a bit of intellectual honesty on your part. You claim that "Beyond that, the comparison with the civil rights movement in the 60's came along in the discussion under your original comment." but, in reality, you brought it up as your argument in the very first post under mine. So, YOU were the one that brought it up.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      gad: "Your response is nonsensical. I specifically stated that the issue was advancing, not decided."

      Again, reading comprehension is not your strong point.

      The implication in your post - talking about "civil rights issue" and how people who are against gay marriage will pretend they were for it in the future (once the gay rights movement wins) - is that gay marriage is, in fact, a civil right.

      If you're going to admonish someone for being dishonest, make sure you're not being dishonest yourself.

      "You claim that "Beyond that, the comparison with the civil rights movement in the 60's came along in the discussion under your original comment." but, in reality, you brought it up as your argument in the very first post under mine. So, YOU were the one that brought it up."

      And, hence, it came up during the discussion.

      Beyond that, you brought it up by explicitly comparing the gay rights movement with the civil rights movement in the 60's.

      It's okay to admit you were wrong, gadflie.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadflie

      This is fun. Let's see, you went from "Beyond that, the comparison with the civil rights movement in the 60's came along in the discussion under your original comment.

      Hence, those were the two issues being discussed." as an excuse for why you used that in your argument to admitting now that the first time it came up was in your rebuttal. And, now, you continue to try to cover your scat by stating:
      "Beyond that, you brought it up by explicitly comparing the gay rights movement with the civil rights movement in the 60's."
      When I didn't specify the '60's at all except in response to you. Sorry kid, your dishonesty is pretty transparent.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      Nah – I may be the only one, but I agree with your argument because it makes logical (and legal) sense.

      I am not opposed to gay marriage. However, the case that decided that marriage is a fundamental right was speaking specifically as to the government's inability to deny marriage based on race. As we can all agree, polygamy is not permitted, bigamy is not permitted, marriages with animals is not permitted, etc. Loving v. Virginia was not a sweeping decision that legalized ALL types of marriage. It simply recognized that a man and a woman of any race can be married.

      I think Nah is making a very logical argument that people, for whatever reason, either don't understand or choose to be in denial about. You have to stop saying that marriage is a right that should be allowed for all people – because it's not. If that was the case, then I should be allowed to marry my adult, consenting brother. Or, if I was gay, my adult consenting sister. But I'm not allowed to do that because it isn't in the best interest of society for people to marry immediate family members.

      While true that an animal (or a child) can't consent to marriage, where are we going to draw the line there? Eventually some 35-year old is going to come along who wants to marry their 14-year old neighbor and they are going to make the argument that "marriage is a right" and therefore, age should not be a factor. It will happen eventually, and that is why whatever ruling comes out regarding gay marriage, it must be worded VERY carefully.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter And John

      Well, Nah, I can't say that the legal basis for your arguments have convinced me, but I will give you credit for really putting your bigotry out there for display and doing whatever you can to make sure gay people can't marry the ones they love. Good job!

      September 9, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      peter: "Well, Nah, I can't say that the legal basis for your arguments have convinced me, but I will give you credit for really putting your bigotry out there for display and doing whatever you can to make sure gay people can't marry the ones they love."

      Ah, yes. Brilliant rebuttal.

      If you noticed, however, the argument for gay marriage is simply that the state has no legitimate interest in prohibiting it. If you actually read my comments you would have understood that.

      But because you're already prejudiced for gay marriage, and against anyone you think opposes it, you've discounted what I've said at the outset.

      How intelligent of you.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      lauren: "I am not opposed to gay marriage. However, the case that decided that marriage is a fundamental right was speaking specifically as to the government's inability to deny marriage based on race. As we can all agree, polygamy is not permitted, bigamy is not permitted, marriages with animals is not permitted, etc. Loving v. Virginia was not a sweeping decision that legalized ALL types of marriage. It simply recognized that a man and a woman of any race can be married."

      Exactly.

      Thank you for the intelligent response.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter And John

      @That One Girl Looking For A Way to Justify Her Bigotry Without Having to Actually Admit That She Is a Bigot:
      "While true that an animal (or a child) can't consent to marriage, where are we going to draw the line there?"

      I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we draw the line EXACTLY where you just said. At CONSENT. Same place we draw it in many, many other places. Legally, we've set ages for consent. One who cannot provide legal consent, cannot legally marry. Line drawn, problem solved. You go on and mention 14-year olds, but they can't legally consent. Nor can coma patients or animals, so all those faux slippery slope hyperbolic arguments that bigots tend to use are moot.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. dave

    Maybe one day we can all indulge in our own unnatural filth without having negative comments made about it. We sure are moving forward.

    September 8, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris hogan

      Unnatural? Telling a gay person to marry someone they can't make happy is unnatural.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      If being gay is so unnatural, why does your god keep making gays?

      September 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      And yet another one who doesn't comprehend the definition if natural.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. Clyde M

    Kudos to Ayanbadejo and Kluwe!

    They have every right to speak and thank you to to this Burns guy for shining a spotlight on this and giving players like this a bigger platform than they've ever had before. The best way to make sure a point of view is heard is to try to stifle it.

    September 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Enoch100

    I like cookies.

    September 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      I prefer pie.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Isaac

      Me too!

      September 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nichole

      Me too!

      September 10, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. Enoch100

    I like cookies. Order me some.

    September 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chris hogan

    I guess all the anti-gay folks who gleefully flocked to Chick Fil A month ago to express their support for "free speech" are going to have to walk the walk and respect other people's free speech, too!

    September 8, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. us_1776

    Chris Kluwe,

    Awesome man !! Just awesome !!

    Thanks !!

    .

    September 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Animals can consent with humans?
    Well, maybe with Dr. Dolittle.
    Otherwise, not so much.

    September 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      @ banasy

      Does this Nah sound like someone else we are familiar with to you ?

      September 8, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      banasy: "Otherwise, not so much."

      Nah. Animal s-ex should be prohibited, but doing mental gymnastics and saying animals cannot "consent" to s-ex is just absurd. They consent to it all the time with each other, with other animals, with inanimate objects, and so on.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      @ banasy

      I guess I'm going to call it a night. I'll talk to you tomorrow.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      nah, does a computer consent to follow it's program? Does a non-sentient animal consent to follow its instincts?

      September 9, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      james: "nah, does a computer consent to follow it's program? Does a non-sentient animal consent to follow its instincts?"

      Err, yeah, when a human or animal willingly chooses a course of conduct, it consents to that course of conduct.

      For example, when two people have s-ex they do not have to say, or consciously acknowledge, that they "consent", they merely perform the act they want to perform. And that's consent.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      In the legally accepted definition of consent, can a 5 year old consent to s-ex with an adult? No. Because they do not have an appropriate understanding of what they are consenting to. In our oddball English language, there are many nuances and meanings to words, but the relevent one in this case is the legal one.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Mitzi

      Now you are being deliberately obtuse and semantic, nah.

      Animals can not give verbal consen tto humans, and animals cannot make their mark on a piece of paper to consent without the help of a human.

      Anticpating your next argument, you will then say that humans are animals, too.

      You know very well what I mean.

      What you are doing, in essence, is arguing for argument's sake, and having read all of your replies, I can say, good luck with your bad self and your arguments, which was, essentially, contradiciting everything everyone said, while adding absolutely no view of your own...see ya later, Jimbo.

      September 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. James PDX

    Can someone write to Emmitt Burns' boss and demand that they silence Burns for trying to violate the 1st amendment right of his citizens which he swore an oath to protect? That's right, his boss is the voting citizens of Maryland. Let's hope to heck they are smart enough to fire him.

    September 8, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      james: "Can someone write to Emmitt Burns' boss and demand that they silence Burns for trying to violate the 1st amendment right of his citizens which he swore an oath to protect?"

      The 1st amendment applies to state action.

      If the player is violating the terms of his NFL agreement, they can silence him all they want.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      And just exactly how is he violating the terms of his NFL agreement ?

      September 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      bobcat: "And just exactly how is he violating the terms of his NFL agreement ?"

      Never said he was.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      Did you actually have a point? Nah.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      james: "Did you actually have a point? Nah."

      You said someone should punish Burns for trying to violate the 1st amendment rights of the player. Except even if Burns got his way there would be no 1st amendment violation. Why? Because there's no state action.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      I said for "trying". Are you saying he didn't make an effort?

      September 9, 2012 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      james: "I said for "trying". Are you saying he didn't make an effort?"

      Please re-read the comment. Even if Burns succeeded in what he was trying to do there would be no violation of the 1st amendment.

      September 9, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      Wouldn't that depend on how he succeeded? We don't know what levels he would sink to if people didn't stand up to him. Has he tried to pass any legislation or supported any that follow his views? Might he?

      September 9, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Fearless Freep

      If the player is violating the terms of his NFL agreement, they can silence him all they want.

      The NFL has not tried to silence anyone.
      The Politician did.
      You are running around in circles and getting knowhere.
      A person does not give up his right to free speech
      just because he takes a job.

      Keep trolling.

      September 9, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. cg

    Sorry, but if you think was ok for Tebow to use pro football to publicly promote his religious convictions, then you've got no grounds for trying to silence Ayanbadejo for his views on this issue.

    September 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. amarjeet

    Joining togagher as GAY is a civil union. Marriage is always between man and woman. They have no abortin rules or subject to IVF embryo.They do not get maternity leave ublike women.

    September 8, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      How can people continue this argument? Marriage used to be common between a man and many women. God's favorite and original children did it all the time before there even was such a thing as a Christian.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. opinionguru

    I believe I speak for the majority of rational, educated and culturally aware individuals when I say: WHO CARES???

    September 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kati

      I care!

      September 9, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • ChiMN

      Who cares about equal rights? I care too!

      September 9, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • T

      Ego trips are so cute, but you speak for yourself. Equal rights is pretty darn important. Plenty of people care about it.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
    • hudathan

      No, you really don't.

      September 9, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
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