Michael Sam blasts lobbyist who wants to ban gay NFL players

Presumably because there are no issues that currently need to be addressed by Congress, Washington D.C.-based lobbyist Jack Burkman said he is preparing legislation that would ban gay athletes from joining the NFL.

Fresh off his appearance at the NFL Scouting Combine, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam -- who recently announced that he is gay -- took to Twitter on Tuesday to castigate Burkman.

Sam presumably was referring to a time-traveling DeLorean -- as in the car from the "Back to the Future" movies -- and that Burkman would need to travel back in time to find a Congress that seriously would consider his bill.

"We are losing our decency as a nation," Burkman said in a statement released Monday. "Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man. That's a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?"

The statement also said, "If the NFL has no morals and no values, then Congress must find values for it."

Burkman's statement said he has garnered political support for the bill, though it didn't mention any lawmakers by name.

One person who isn't likely to support the bill is Burkman's brother, Jim, a doctor who lives in Seattle. Jim Burkman is gay.

"I think the idea that he is pushing legislation that is just hurtful and ridiculous is just plain stupid," Jim Burkman told the Huffington Post. "It is just an attention grab and a media grab to pander to those folks who pay him to lobby on their behalf.

"He is my brother and I love him, and we don't see eye-to-eye on any political issues, certainly gay rights," he said. "But I told him years ago he should back off on gay issues, and if he ever crosses the line I would be happy to speak up as his gay brother. (Monday) I felt he crossed the line."

This has to be a tough time for Jack Burkman, given that the NBA's New Jersey Nets just signed center Jason Collins, who has become the first openly gay athlete in a major men's professional sport.

Burkman owns a lobbying firm, JM Burkman and Associates. TheHill.com, a political website, said the firm "specializes in helping companies secure contracts with the federal government."

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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