Skip to content

Lobbyist backs off, sort of, from desire to ban gay NFL players

Shower-head-generic-7308089 Getty Images

On Monday, lobbyist Jack Burkman announced plans for a bill that would ban gay players from the NFL.  On Wednesday, Burkman explained that, when he said gay players should be banned from the NFL, he didn’t really mean gay players should be, you know, banned from the NFL.

Appearing on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Burkman said he simply wants to separate gay and straight players.

“A lot of people say it’s about discrimination or homophobia, it’s not about any of those things,” Burkman said. “We have basic standards of civility and common decency in our society. For instance, you don’t have the cheerleaders go in and take a shower with the football players because we believe that men and women should be separate, for reasons that they’re sexually attracted to each other and other reasons that we all understand.  Now, if you separate men and women, doesn’t it make sense that you would separate a gay man and a straight man?

“That’s not discrimination against the straight man or the gay man, that’s simply common decency in the same way you would separate a man and a woman.”

Burkman said his effort doesn’t come from religious concerns, but simply basic common sense that arises from the separation of men and women in showers or locker rooms.

He said that the proposed bill will be released on Wednesday.  Burkman explained that it would establish a general ban on gay players unless teams choose to provide separate facilities wherever there would be nudity.  He said the bill will include “criminal penalties and severe fines” per violation, with minimum fines of $3 million and maximum fines of $8 million per incident.

Burkman believes he speaks for a silent majority of players and owners and others who share his concerns.

“NFL players are afraid,” Burkman said.  “They’re afraid.  Just like the owners, just like the Commissioner.  They’re all scared of the media.  Everybody’s running scared.  They’re afraid to tell the truth about this issue.  They’re running scared, because they don’t want to take the heat I’m taking.  They don’t want to take the heat I’m taking.”

Regardless of whether it makes sense to separate gay men from straight men in the locker room or the showers, the practical impact will be to force any gay NFL players to stay in the closet.  Which in turn could spark gay witch hunts by law enforcement.

Burkman, whose brother is gay, remains confident that the bill will become law.

Permalink 79 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Top Stories
79 Responses to “Lobbyist backs off, sort of, from desire to ban gay NFL players”
  1. raiderufan says: Feb 26, 2014 12:03 PM

    If all we’re being is honest…Honestly, I’d have killed for the cheerleaders to be able to shower with the football team.

  2. kyannalashae says: Feb 26, 2014 12:04 PM

    I wholeheartedly agree with Burkman.

  3. seatownballers says: Feb 26, 2014 12:06 PM

    Back peddling

  4. holla2626 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:06 PM

    The sad thing is that this jerk is probably making money off all this publicity somehow

  5. thepftpoet says: Feb 26, 2014 12:07 PM

    Meanwhile, The Vikings are preparing for their dynasty.

  6. nyyjetsknicks says: Feb 26, 2014 12:07 PM

    Small government 101: The government has no right tell a business how to operate, unless we want to use our fairy tales magic book to tell a business how to operate.

  7. aceakking says: Feb 26, 2014 12:07 PM

    Pittsburgh is the City of Referee-Apologized SB40 Cheaters.

  8. mabromowitz says: Feb 26, 2014 12:07 PM

    This has never been a problem, just look at the WNBA. You go to any YMCA or gym and there are two locker rooms – men and women. Society has been doing alright. Please let this guy’s 15 minutes of stupidity end.

  9. beardinals says: Feb 26, 2014 12:07 PM

    “For instance, you don’t have the cheerleaders go in and take a shower with the football players”

    Why not, and when can this get fixed?

  10. whordy says: Feb 26, 2014 12:11 PM

    Republicians.

  11. Denver Geldings - Super Bowl Castration... AGAIN!!!! says: Feb 26, 2014 12:12 PM

    In America, his point is valid, it just isnt considered acceptable. You are free to have any opinion that you want, as long as it matches up with the Liberals/Progressives

  12. f1restarter says: Feb 26, 2014 12:13 PM

    He’s lying when he says it’s not because of religious reasons.

    Religion is ALWAYS behind stuff like this.

  13. i, flounder says: Feb 26, 2014 12:14 PM

    at least take responsibility for your actions instead of blaming them on other things.

  14. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Feb 26, 2014 12:14 PM

    Lobbyists should be banned along with corporate money being allowed in elections. Corruption is just too easy for the people elected.

    Someone should write him about his thoughts on prostitution. I’m sure he has strong feelings on the subject.

  15. santolonius says: Feb 26, 2014 12:15 PM

    this is a publicity stunt. a lobbyist cannot introduce a bill into congress for debate, passage or rejection. just like everyone else on planet earth, this dude may write up any bill he wishes. he can try to get members of congress interested in it. but that’s all. only members of congress can introduce bills.

  16. meatcarroll says: Feb 26, 2014 12:17 PM

    He’s 100% right.

  17. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 26, 2014 12:19 PM

    Or every player could have privacy built-in to their showering area. There’s no good reason why an NFL team shouldn’t be able to figure out a way to give players an option to shower without being seen naked by others. Have a public option and some private options, and everybody can shower wherever they feel like.

  18. uglydingo says: Feb 26, 2014 12:22 PM

    It would be interesting to find out who is paying Mr Burkman his lobbying fees for his time and his employees. Is it an individual, a business, a PAC or the church(s) that is financing this campaign of hate?
    Would good christians like to see the church engaging lobbyists for this cause?
    There is probably a great story for someone prepared to dig.

  19. jagtiger says: Feb 26, 2014 12:28 PM

    Another complete idiot!

  20. classiefreddieblassie says: Feb 26, 2014 12:28 PM

    It sure sounds to me like this guy has been in this situation before, in a male shower room and quite confused by his “urges”. There is a reason these types put up such a fight and it usually comes through experience. This is really the only plausible reason why this guy would want society to time warp 20 years in the past, that or he is just an asshat running his mouth for publicity even though he has never set foot in an NFL locker room and therefore has no clue what he is talking about.

  21. gibbyfan says: Feb 26, 2014 12:33 PM

    It seems to be common knowledge that there have been and continue to be numerous gay athletes and as far as I know there have beenno problems….this is a solution looking for a problem……..or maybe just a jerk looking for publicity/fees at the expense of others.

  22. primenumber19 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:35 PM

    This guy is a fool, but People who say the government has no right to tell a business how to operate have obviously never read the jungle by upton Sinclair.

  23. yordo says: Feb 26, 2014 12:38 PM

    I approve.

  24. nesportsfan0428 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:42 PM

    “I can’t mind my own business and I’m that busy-body neighbor you hate” -Jack Burkman

  25. jsharris54 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:45 PM

    It’s 2014, and people like this still exist. Let that sink in.

  26. fievel03 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:46 PM

    Who would enforce this? A special squad of troopers that would storm in to apprehend the offender? And would they wear armbands with a special insignia to designate their position? Would they have a special salute, different than the common salute of the military?

  27. purpleman527 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:48 PM

    “…you don’t have the cheerleaders go in and take a shower with the football players because we believe that men and women should be separate, for reasons that they’re sexually attracted to each other and other reasons that we all understand.”

    And this is the entire problem here folks.

    The lobbyists’ bill is ridiculous. But if society will not allow women and men to shower together in the current NFL lockerroom, why do gay men get to shower with whom they are attracted to?
    Or more importantly, if an NFL player does not want to shower with a gay man, should that NFL player have the right to NOT shower with a gay man if he so chooses?

  28. greysolon says: Feb 26, 2014 12:54 PM

    Report Burkman to ThoughtCrime now!

  29. micknangold says: Feb 26, 2014 12:57 PM

    “This guy is a fool, but People who say the government has no right to tell a business how to operate have obviously never read the jungle by upton Sinclair.”

    I’d guess most Americans alive today have never read it. It gets mentioned in high school social studies classes, people remember that workers got chopped up in machines and fed to customers, and generally people remember only the title and that single fact. Academics obviously have a greater interest in it.

  30. mauijim805 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:58 PM

    Chargers suck

  31. linemanguy74 says: Feb 26, 2014 12:59 PM

    You think he is a fool ?? Look at all the ink he is getting

  32. ncsteeler says: Feb 26, 2014 1:12 PM

    For those who agree with this turkey consider that there’s an 80% chance that your team has at least one gay player showering with everyone else after every game and practice.

    The Neanderthals got over female reporters in the locker room; they’ll get over gay men in the showers.

  33. Dogsweat says: Feb 26, 2014 1:13 PM

    The San Francisco 49ers would lose half their players if this guy got his wish.

  34. ytownjoe says: Feb 26, 2014 1:16 PM

    Lobbyist? I’d like to see a list of his clients.

  35. cpapfs says: Feb 26, 2014 1:16 PM

    Don’t they currently allow cameras to film interviews in the locker rooms?

    Don’t they allow female reporters to interview players in their locker rooms?

    Aren’t other players showering while naked while that occurs?

    So in the name of “common decency” shouldn’t Burkman be equally concerned about filming and females in the locker rooms while players are naked and showering?

  36. joe2jerry says: Feb 26, 2014 1:17 PM

    I hate that we aren’t allowed opposing views in this country when my family members have died for just that…

  37. ningenito78 says: Feb 26, 2014 1:24 PM

    Seems Mr. Burkman doesn’t understand the definition of ‘common sense’.

  38. rogstew2 says: Feb 26, 2014 1:29 PM

    How about we ban lobbyists from writing bills for congress?

  39. canedaddy says: Feb 26, 2014 1:37 PM

    The guy has something of a point, though his expression of it and his proposed solution are lacking.

    Do you think women would embrace the idea of making all public restrooms and showers co-ed? No… they’d feel like their privacy was being invaded if dudes were leering at them while they’re showering. It’s the same principle here, and it is indeed common sense.

    And he’s absolutely right about players being afraid to speak out about the issue now. No doubt most of them feel this way but they know what will happen if they say so.

  40. eaglesfanalways says: Feb 26, 2014 1:42 PM

    The sad part is that there are likely A LOT of people that agree with him…and I think many of them are legislators in Arizona!

  41. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Feb 26, 2014 1:46 PM

    “Religion is ALWAYS behind stuff like this.”

    Wrong. Stupidity is usually behind stuff like this. I’m a Christian, and I want nothing to do with morons like Burkman.

    Please keep in mind that your sweeping generalizations are as offensive as his are. Implying that all religious people are Burkman is as dumb as asserting that all leftists are the Unibomber.

  42. rofeo says: Feb 26, 2014 1:50 PM

    Gotta love Texas. Can we trade it back to Mexico along with three first-round draft choices for a bottle of tequila? Except Austin. Let’s keep that.

  43. skinsdiehard says: Feb 26, 2014 1:57 PM

    I agree with this lobbyist. As, it seems, more gay people come out of the closet, society is going to have to figure out a way deal with it when it comes to gender privacy in locker rooms, college dormitories, rest rooms, etc. I recall that while my daughter was a member of her high school choir, they took participated in an annual choir competition in Hawaii. The choir had a few gay males and females as members. To save money, the school booked hotel rooms with double beds but with two same-sex students sharing beds. Thus, typically four students were in each room. They encountered some problems with those gay students. This situation is a problem even in the U.S. military right now – what private accomodations need to be made for gay people in intimate surroundings with straight people.

  44. crindal3000 says: Feb 26, 2014 2:00 PM

    Lobbyist’s should be banned from everything.

  45. jumbomesquite says: Feb 26, 2014 2:02 PM

    It isn’t common sense. The locker room is a workplace environment in the NFL. It doesn’t segregate by gender (male and female reporters in the locker room, male and female trainers in the locker room), race (obviously), or sexual orientation.

    Pure and simple, this is an attack on gay players. I don’t see this guy trying to ban females from the locker room too. Wouldn’t that be “common sense?”

  46. chris3141084 says: Feb 26, 2014 2:05 PM

    Gay facilities. Straight facilities. White facilities. “Colored” facilities. Wrong is wrong is wrong is wrong. Why don’t people understand this?? And to the idiots talking point, traditional make/female facilities are likely going the way of the Dodo bird as well with the growing understanding of transgender people.

  47. phinagain says: Feb 26, 2014 2:07 PM

    If I understand this new proposal (because it has nothing to do with what he said the other day), he is advocating that teams build “separate but equal” facilities for gay and straight (and presumably closeted gay) players. Why does something about that sound familiar, in an ominous and unconstitutional way?

    Also, good points about letting the media in the locker room while guys are still showering. So they would have a problem with a gay teammate seeing them in the shower, but not a gay reporter with a camera crew?

    On a somewhat related note, why do the showers have to be communal, high-school style banks of shower heads? I would think most teams can afford to buy shower curtains. And don’t give me that BS about camaraderie and tradition. I don’t see how it improves team spirit to watch your teammates soap up their gizmos. But that’s just me.

    Finally, it should be noted that the voices in Burkman’s head do not constitute a “silent majority.”

  48. csilojohnson says: Feb 26, 2014 2:15 PM

    “We have basic standards of civility in our society..”
    Haha what a joke.
    I guess that includes illegal prostitution. Where do they find these people?

  49. themagicfanguy says: Feb 26, 2014 2:16 PM

    I guess I’ll go stroll into the nearest women’s shower and start washing since it’s no big deal that I may or may not be attracted to one then.

    Lobbyists are a problem, but the man has a point. Female reporters are allowed in the locker room, not the showers. Let’s all hate me because I disagree now.

  50. warhammer420 says: Feb 26, 2014 2:18 PM

    “We have basic standards of civility and common decency in our society.”

    Yes, we do. And one of those standards is not tolerating bigots like you, Mr. Burkman.

  51. palatypus says: Feb 26, 2014 2:26 PM

    If this version of the Supreme Court of the United States had not struck down Brown Vs. The Board of Education of Topeka Kansas precedent, this “seperate but equal” tactic would have no hope of working. However, I am sure that this is just the first reconnaissance probing into this political territory that your going to see leading up the the next Presidential election.

  52. canedaddy says: Feb 26, 2014 2:33 PM

    Yes, separate but equal facilities is so ominous! Imagine if we had separate but equal public restrooms and showers for men and women? Unthinkable!

  53. duece5 says: Feb 26, 2014 2:34 PM

    He may be a jerk, but his point is valid.

  54. kate773 says: Feb 26, 2014 2:44 PM

    For those of you complaining that you’re not allowed to have an opposing view: You’re allowed. You’re just not allowed to not have to have someone challenge you on your opposing view. That’s called “debate”. You’re not being oppressed. Just challenged. Just like you’re challenging the original view.

    And I’d like to chime in as a female on this locker room debate. Would I want a man in the locker room with me? I honestly wouldn’t care. I would trust the guy isn’t ogling every woman there, and I’d trust I’m not going to get jumped. I’m aware not every guy wants me in some way. I’d be more paranoid that I was grossing the guy out even if he DID ogle.

    In other words, if the guys in that locker room are uncomfortable, its due to their own insecurity or their own ego. They should get over it.

  55. mackcarrington says: Feb 26, 2014 2:53 PM

    It’s unbelievable that people on here agree with this guy’s line of thinking.
    You don’t let men and women shower together because they are attracted to each other, but you want to put gay men in their own separate shower who may be attracted to each other?
    What?????????

  56. freebird2011 says: Feb 26, 2014 2:57 PM

    Given the very very limited number of gays who play NFL football, seems like much ado about nothing. NFL players can (and will) police the locker rooms themselves.

  57. chipinphilly says: Feb 26, 2014 3:08 PM

    Coming from a politician this really makes be chuckle…”We have basic standards of civility and common decency in our society.” as if he would know what that is!!!!

  58. just4given says: Feb 26, 2014 3:13 PM

    “Why does something about that sound familiar, in an ominous and unconstitutional way?”

    I don’t think MLK exactly envisioned behavior as if it were equal to skin color. If it does, then surely the alcoholic or drug addict should have an affirmative action lobby as well. Again, common sense waves by-bye.

  59. mackcarrington says: Feb 26, 2014 3:13 PM

    This guy says correctly says that men and women are sexually attracted to each other so they shouldn’t shower together.
    Straight men aren’t attracted to gay men, so I don’t think that is a valid comparison. There are so many holes in this guy’s warped logic that it seems to me that he has some other issues going on in his life.

  60. doctorrustbelt says: Feb 26, 2014 3:17 PM

    Guys like this make me optimistic about giant comets speeding towards the Earth.

  61. kate773 says: Feb 26, 2014 3:19 PM

    Let me just add that if I were a woman in the men’s locker room, and I knew that no man there was interested in me, that would pretty much end any interest I had in them sexually. Wouldn’t you feel that way as a man in a women’s locker room? Now wouldn’t you think that would extend to Michael Sam in a men’s locker room?

  62. Ed Bandell says: Feb 26, 2014 3:22 PM

    Aren’t LBGT groups lobbying to get a third bathroom in public places for the transgendered individuals and for people who refuse to identify themselves as either a male or a female? They are getting a lot of support.

    This guy is trying to make that happen, but not exactly going about it the same way or for the same reason.

    Seems like a contradicting message. You want to be treated equally, yet you do things to go out of your way to shove it in my face that you are different. So which one is it?

  63. anicra says: Feb 26, 2014 3:23 PM

    There are always strange thinking people on both sides of any argument.

  64. pglht says: Feb 26, 2014 3:27 PM

    I don’t think it should be law to ban gay players from the NFL, but I don’t think it should be illegal for an NFL team to discriminant against them based on the fact they are gay. If a player comes out and it disrupts the team, that NFL team should have a right to release them. People who are gay should just keep their private lives..well private..

  65. just4given says: Feb 26, 2014 3:28 PM

    “Straight men aren’t attracted to gay men, so I don’t think that is a valid comparison.”

    Gay men are attracted to men, therefore the comparison is more than valid.

  66. discosucs2005 says: Feb 26, 2014 3:38 PM

    I like he said “men and women are attracted to each other…this for gay men and straight men…” He knows that generally straight men aren’t attracted to other men right?

  67. granadafan says: Feb 26, 2014 3:52 PM

    So, this conservative religious Republican wants segregation, eh? Separate but equal locker rooms? What’s next for conservatives, making gays wear an armband with a triangle in society? Placing them all in camps to concentrate?

  68. just4given says: Feb 26, 2014 4:06 PM

    “I like he said “men and women are attracted to each other…this for gay men and straight men…” He knows that generally straight men aren’t attracted to other men right?”

    Just because I am attracted to women doesn’t mean I am attracted to every woman I see either.
    So, by all means, lets just eliminate all separate public facilities. In a mixed up culture, they are antiquated feature we can do without. Everybody just promise to be on your best behavior. Sheesh.

  69. steelerben says: Feb 26, 2014 4:08 PM

    Everyone is ignoring the fact that there have been gay players in the NFL already. Just because they aren’t openly gay doesn’t mean that the people on the team they are close with don’t know about it.

    There are far more gay players, either closeted or open, when you get to the college or high school level based on the volume of players and statistics.

    You aren’t hearing about issues on any of these levels. It might have something to do with the fact that just because someone finds the same gender attractive it doesn’t mean that they find every person of that gender attractive, nor is it impossible for them to control themselves when they do.

  70. uglydingo says: Feb 26, 2014 4:10 PM

    The practice of showering after training or a game is just to clean up. Being naked in this process is natural, it is not sexual.
    Michael Sam and the 50+ other (closeted) gay NFL players do it every day with their teammates. The concept of nudity in front of others seems to whip some into lather because it assumes that it will lead to something sexual. It won’t. With the attention that the subject would draw one can be assured that Michael Sam and the other gay players will be on their best behavior in the showers. It is just cleaning up.
    I was brought up in a foreign country where nude beaches are popular. One immediately learns from that experience that nothing inappropriate will happen. You learn very quickly to control yourself. It is natural not sexual.
    I have difficulty comprehending how people immediately assume any nudity automatically turns to lust.
    Players have learned to be comfortable changing in front of female reporters, because it is natural not sexual. What is the difference?

  71. mrsryansfamoustoejam says: Feb 26, 2014 4:17 PM

    It would seem that a person’s “right” to be openly gay trumps everything, including freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and a right to privacy.

    Anyone who differs from the PC agenda will immediately be ridiculed and branded a bigot. Who is really intolerant here?

  72. uglyglazers says: Feb 26, 2014 4:17 PM

    Said the straight man that smacked the other straight man’s butt with a wet towel…

  73. h8glazersgobucs says: Feb 26, 2014 4:21 PM

    Pretty soon there will be no minorities permitted to work in the NFL or anywhere else in the United States of America. I think this guy actually voted for slavery back in the day.

  74. drudema says: Feb 26, 2014 4:28 PM

    By this guys rational, every athletic facility should be included in the bill. Every sports program and every gym from junior high to your paid athletic clubs now need to have 4 dressing rooms for both gay and strait men and women. Thats essentially what he’s saying. Talk about governmental interference with private business. Not to mention the billions and billions that it would cost the tax payers to construct all those new locker rooms in every school in this county. Where is that money coming from? From the 3 to 8 million dollar fines imposed? I thought the right wing were suppose to be the fiscally responsible party. Talk about a job killer. Every school and every athletic program in the country would have to shut down. Teachers and coaches fired. Thousands and thousands of private business would go out of business. All because an idiotic bigot wants to rattle his saber. I’ve been in the gym with lots of gay men in my life. Times I’ve been raped or hit on – ZERO. Times I’ve felt uncomfortable – ZERO. Maybe he is just upset that he’s not getting the attention that he thinks he deserves in the locker room. Another absolute embarrassment from Texas. Can Mexico rise up and take that state back from us already. Remember the Alamo! You can have it.

  75. lennymoorerules says: Feb 26, 2014 4:32 PM

    Mr. Burkman has a physician brother who happens to be gay. I think he should keep his opinions and discussion inside his family.

  76. flaccodelic says: Feb 26, 2014 4:38 PM

    I’m sure this guy has been equally outraged by the notion that there might possibly be a lesbian in a WNBA locker room. Thank God that has never happened and the straight ladies are safe from being instantly molested!!!

  77. pooflingingmonkey says: Feb 26, 2014 4:59 PM

    Every one of us reading this post has showered with a gay man (or woman). You just didn’t know it. Did anyone turn gay? Of course not.

    Everyone needs to get over themselves.

  78. steelerben says: Feb 27, 2014 1:26 PM

    24 hours of thinking about this and it still doesn’t make sense.

    How is it more decent to ensure that all of the gay men and women are sent to shower with each other, thereby ensuring that everyone in the shower is potentially attracted to one and other?

  79. greenpointguy says: Mar 1, 2014 9:27 AM

    This guy has got to be being paid by the Democrats to keep the meme going that Republicans = Hate. And it’s working beautifully.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!