|Brendon Ayanbadejo (right) is catching heat for his stance on gay marriage. (Getty Images)|
Brendon Ayanbadejo is a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. He's a former undrafted free agent who worked hard enough to become Pro Bowler. He's publicly advocated a pro-gay marriage stance, in written form.
And now he's catching some heat for that stance, from a Baltimore politician. Emmett Burns, a politician and minister (?) in Maryland, sent Ravens owner Steve Biscotti a letter requesting that Ayanbadejo back down off his stance on gay marriage. That letter was obtained by Yahoo! Sports.
"I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo, would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically, as a Raven Football player," Burns wrote to Biscotti. "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."
OK, a couple things here, and not one of them have to do with whatever stance you (or I) have on gay marriage.
First, I am appalled and aghast at Mr. Burns usage of capital letters. You're going to bust out some "House of Delegates" letterhead and you can't take the time to properly capitalize words. Come on.
Secondly, Burns attempt to act like it's wrong for Ayanbadejo to have an opinion loses all credibility as soon as he points out that he and other are opposed to such a view. You see how that works? You can't tell a public figure not to have an opinion because they're a public figure if the real primary reason involves you hating that opinion.
And finally, there's nothing wrong with Ayanbadejo taking this stance at all. Fortunately the linebacker realizes that.
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!!!— Brendon Ayanbadejo (@brendon310) September 5, 2012
Look, again, I don't care what your stance is on gay marriage (though something tells me we might find out in the comment section), and it's entirely irrelevant here.
What's relevant is that a supposed member of the bureaucracy is sending letters to owners of football teams trying to get said owners to stomp out the freaking First Amendment rights of the human beings who play football on said teams.
And that's not something that anyone should stand for.