“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”—Mark Twain
When assembling the cast of jerks for Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Connecticut History, I purposely stayed away from politicians because, as I say in the book, “there are too many from which to choose.”
Exhibit #130,907 (approximately) is this week’s JERK OF THE WEEK!
Mr. Burns (a real-life Democrat and not a fictional nuclear power plant owner) is a delegate in the Maryland House of Delegates, representing the fine city of Baltimore. Recently, when Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo recently voiced his support for same-sex marriage (something he’s been doing publicly since 2009), Burns took exception.
Via the Huffington Post:
In a letter dated August 29, 2012 and addressed to Ravens owner Steve Biscotti, Burns writes “I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo, would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Ravens football player.”
“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,” wrote Burns, “and try to sway public opinion one way or another.”
According to WBALTV, Burns became upset when he learned that Ayanbadejo had contributed a pair of Ravens tickets to a fundraiser for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. After expressing his dismay at Ayanbadejo’s actions in his letter, Burns then asked the Ravens to silence the 36-year-old veteran.
“I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football League Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employees 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.”
Now, normally I’d go off on a rant here condemning Burns (“They are saying Boo-urns“), but Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has already stepped up to defend his NFL brother Ayanbadejo—and same-sex marriage—in a wonderfully eloquent and *amazingly awesome* open letter.
I won’t quote the whole thing, although I highly recommend you read it (if you haven’t already—NSFW language). Here’s just a bit …
As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom. By using your position as an elected official (when referring to your constituents in order to implicitly threaten the Ravens organization) to argue that the Ravens should silence Brendon Ayanbadejo from voicing his support for same-sex marriage, not only are you clearly violating the First Amendment, but you come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain. What on Earth would possess you to say something so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person’s right to free speech. To call that “hypocritical” would be to do a disservice to the word. “Mindfuckingly, obscenely hypocritical” starts to approach it a little bit.
I am not about to change my football allegiance to the Vikings, but I will forever root for punter Chris Kluwe.
Thanks for kicking a jerk where it counts!
If you want to kick me where it counts—my wallet—you know what you can pre-order at Amazon.com.