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They Won’t Magically Turn You Into A Lustful Cockmonster
September 7, 2012 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, one of the NFL's few vocal advocates for legalization of gay marriage, donates two tickets to his team's season opener to a Marylanders for Marriage Equality fundraiser. Maryland state delegate Emmet C. Burns writes a letter asking Ravens management to silence Ayanbadejo. Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe responds with epic smackdown.
posted by googly (175 comments total) 96 users marked this as a favorite

 
Okay, rooting for the Ravens, I can do, but the Vikings? That's going to be hard.

Nice command of invective, though. Maybe I can root for the Vikings during kicks.
posted by eriko at 1:52 PM on September 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


Hooray for Messrs. Ayanbadejo and Kluwe!
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:52 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I used to have a lot of love for Scott Fujita's stance on marriage equality (and I still do) but Kluwe just jumped to the front of the line here.
posted by komara at 1:53 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Epic smackdown" is a phrase that gets bandied around a lot but that fits the bill.

(However, the First Amendment prohibits Congress from passing certain laws. It does not prohibit state delegates from being public assholes.)
posted by Egg Shen at 1:54 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster.

Are you certain? I mean really certain?
posted by Justinian at 1:54 PM on September 7, 2012 [14 favorites]


Emmet must be from... Baltimore County? Huh.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:55 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hate the Vikings and am on the verge of breaking up with the NFL in general, but Chris Kluwe keeps popping up everywhere seeming awesome.
posted by COBRA! at 1:55 PM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit.

This is so great it makes me want to start liking football or something.
posted by anazgnos at 1:55 PM on September 7, 2012 [24 favorites]


Metafilter: Gotta get me some of that hot dong action
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:56 PM on September 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


I researched Burns and was surprised to see he wasn't from the Eastern Shore.
posted by codacorolla at 1:56 PM on September 7, 2012


Well, now I'm a little in love with Kluwe. That was glorious. I am especially fond of this bit: "the mental gymnastics your brain has to tortuously contort itself through to make such a preposterous statement are surely worthy of an Olympic gold medal (the Russian judge gives you a 10 for "beautiful oppressionism")." Writing amazing invective should clearly be his second job.
posted by yasaman at 1:57 PM on September 7, 2012 [13 favorites]


Kluwe also plays bass in a band locally.
posted by djseafood at 1:58 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good lord, I haven't heard the word "fromunda" in YEARS. Chris Kluwe is obviously no fraidy-cat.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:58 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


11 comments and no one has done it yet? Fine I'll do it:

BOO-URNS!
posted by spicynuts at 1:58 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


(However, the First Amendment prohibits Congress from passing certain laws. It does not prohibit state delegates from being public assholes.)

Hyperbole but not an outright lie - for the Delegate to actually follow through on his implied threat to sanction the Ravens in some way due to the political speech of their employee would be a clear violation of the amendment.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:58 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow. That letter balanced logic, insults and obscenities in a way I did not think was possible.
posted by chemoboy at 1:59 PM on September 7, 2012 [76 favorites]


Chris Kluwe might be my new favorite political pundit. What's this about sports, now?
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:59 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


On preview ... I was just ready to post a similar FPP. Here's some more details ...

Ayanbadejo says he'd "have to thank Delegate Burns more than anything for bringing national attention to the issue.":
"For somebody to try to take that away from me I was pretty surprised, from a politician especially. People get fired for saying the things that the delegate said. People lose their jobs for discrimination...I think that whoever voted for him has their right to vote for who they believe represents their values. And if he represents their values, he's the best person for the job. If Obama represents the best values for the country, he deserves the job. ... Its an equality issue. I see the big picture."
posted by ericb at 1:59 PM on September 7, 2012 [19 favorites]


Wa ha ha ha ha ha that is great. Thanks for posting it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:00 PM on September 7, 2012


Fuck yeah, Vikings!
posted by rtha at 2:03 PM on September 7, 2012


Damn. Such a good read. Triple-score for using fromunda.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:03 PM on September 7, 2012


Political Punter Chris Kluwe

We need more of this.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:04 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kluwe is also a big ol' geek, given his twitter account. As I was reading through the letter earlier today, I was thinking there was something very, very geeky about the profanity in it, and I was wondering if it had been faked. Then I saw the name of his Twitter account, and I realized, no, he's just One of Us. Thus I followed my first ever NFL player...

Anyway, good on him and Ayanbadejo.
posted by wintersweet at 2:04 PM on September 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


Ayanbadejo named his son Amadeus Prime, which is also kind of awesome.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:05 PM on September 7, 2012 [48 favorites]


He's also a prolific redditor.
posted by idb at 2:06 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dear Delegate Burns,

As a Marylander and a First Amendment fan, I find it inconceivable that you would ask the employer of a Maryland citizen to inhibit that citizen’s right to free speech. I am appalled and aghast that a member of a democratically elected legislature would attempt to silence someone speaking out on an important political issue. Many voters feel a Delegate has no place censuring someone for exercising the most sacred right we, as Americans, cherish. I believe you should apologize to Mr. Ayanbadejo and concentrate on good governance.

I am requesting that you, after a public apology, resign from the Maryland House of Delegates for your disgraceful actions. I know of no other Delegate who has done what you are doing.

Please give me your immediate response.

Sincerely,
posted by spaltavian at 2:07 PM on September 7, 2012 [19 favorites]


Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo Speaks Out for Marriage Equality: VIDEO.

Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe Fights For Marriage Equality AUDIO.
posted by ericb at 2:08 PM on September 7, 2012


I want to make a "get a Kluwe" joke, but I have no idea if that works phonetically.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:08 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


In related NFL news: Interviews Suggest More Acceptance For Gay Players.
posted by ericb at 2:09 PM on September 7, 2012


And you guys think football players are all Neanderthals.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:10 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


This was awesome. You know it starts well when he suggests having an intern help him with the big words.
posted by ambrosia at 2:10 PM on September 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


If it's pronounced "kloo-ah" you could be sitting on a goldmine.
posted by deanklear at 2:10 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


And, just yesterday ... Five More NFL Players Say They'd Be OK With Gay Teammate -- "Five current NFL players have indicated they would have no problem playing alongside a gay teammate, bringing the total who've stated support to two dozen athletes."
posted by ericb at 2:11 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I could pull-quote this thing all day, it's so full of awesome.
posted by rtha at 2:11 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is some epic evidence supporting the rarely discussed contrarian theory that getting slammed around a lot playing pro football actually makes a man think more clearly.
posted by chavenet at 2:13 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been in mad love with Kluwe for a while now. I can't remember when it started, but I do know it had nothing with his gay marriage stance. When that subject came up, it sorta started getting weird -- like hoping he's happy but wishing he'd get traded (if it wouldn't make him too unhappy) because I was unsure how a Bears fan could feel so strongly for somebody who plays for a divisional rival. Like, now that I try to explain it, I realize I gave this an uncomfortable amount of thought-levels of weird.

What I'm saying is -- this smackdown is loved -- but it isn't making my crush any easier.

(For different reasons, neither is this picture of him playing bass.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:13 PM on September 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


As a former sportswriter that's been in NFL locker rooms, I assure you, having a gay teammate would go over very similarly to how it went over in the military. Will there be goons? Yep. Will they be the majority? No. Will anyone really care. Nah. It'd be exactly like Gareth Thomas.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:14 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hahaha awesome. It's great that athletes are willing to speak out for stuff like marriage equality as active players. The invective will probably get him ignored by the politico because that would be an easy excuse to not have to deal with the stupidity of his actions but overall that's the sort of passionate defense of civil rights that I think can make a difference.

Having professional athletes speak out against that sort of homophobia can really resonate with demographics that might not otherwise be responsive to that message because it's coming from someone who is sufficiently "manly" to actually succeed as a professional athlete.

I also like the fact that he's a total geek, not sure I can forgive him being a redditor though...
posted by vuron at 2:16 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do gay athletes have an associated color? Because it should totally be purple.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:17 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do gay athletes have an associated color?

Yes .. and it's a full RAINBOW of color!
posted by ericb at 2:27 PM on September 7, 2012


The saddest Cockmonster is the non-lustful Cockmonster.
posted by zerobyproxy at 2:28 PM on September 7, 2012 [20 favorites]


I have a jerk DM who keeps putting them in campaigns
posted by The Whelk at 2:29 PM on September 7, 2012 [34 favorites]


for the Delegate to actually follow through on his implied threat to sanction the Ravens in some way due to the political speech of their employee would be a clear violation of the amendment

The amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech..." For the sake of argument, I'll assume that "Congress" here by definition includes the Maryland General Assembly.

I'll go even further and pretend that, rather than whatever implied threat you perceived in the letter, Burns wrote, "Shut him up or I'll make sure that the tax exemption on your stadium is revoked". [Which is the only credible threat I can imagine in this scenario.]

As big a dick move as that would be, it would still not be even within hail-mary distance of passing a law abridging freedom of speech.

So to recap: Asshole, yes. First Amendment violator, no.
posted by Egg Shen at 2:30 PM on September 7, 2012


Here's Brendon on Same Sex Marriage from a few years ago.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:31 PM on September 7, 2012


Okay, would be a clear violation of freedom of speech, the guarantee of which goes much, much further than acts of Congress thanks to the Fourteenth Amendment.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:35 PM on September 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ayanbadejo was born in Chicago to a Nigerian father and an American mother of Irish descent.

Has he released his longform birth certificate yet?
posted by chavenet at 2:38 PM on September 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


Brendon Ayanbadejo (2009):
"Maybe I am a man ahead of my time. However, looking at the former restrictions on human rights in our country starting with slavery, women not being able to vote, blacks being counted as two thirds of a human, segregation, no gays in the military (to list a few) all have gone by the wayside. But now here in 2009 same sex marriages are prohibited. I think we will look back in 10, 20, 30 years and be amazed that gays and lesbians did not have the same rights as every one else. How did this ever happen in the land of the free and the home of the brave? Are we really free?"
The Right Side Of History? Hell, yes.

The Arc of Justice? FUCK yes!

Thank you!
posted by ericb at 2:40 PM on September 7, 2012 [31 favorites]


Article 40 of the Declaration of Rights of the Maryland Consitution says that "every citizen of the State ought to be allowed to speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects."

So, even setting aside the guarantees of the Federal Constitution, some of which are incorporated against the State governments through the 14th Amendment, it really is not okay for a Maryland politician to use the power of the state government to stop an individual from speaking about gay marriage.
posted by Area Man at 2:42 PM on September 7, 2012 [17 favorites]


As big a dick move as that would be, it would still not be even within hail-mary distance of passing a law abridging freedom of speech.

Y'know, I think in this case it's the spirit, not the letter, of the violation that counts.
posted by chavenet at 2:42 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Right Side Of History? Hell, yes.

The Arc of Justice? FUCK yes!


Also the Kluwe-Hammer, in this case.
posted by chavenet at 2:43 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Now I'm going to have to feel a little bit bad when my Jacksonville Jaguars crush the Vikings on Sunday...AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....Just kidding. We're going to lose, we always lose. This one will just hurt a bit less.
posted by Optamystic at 2:45 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland's state government.

I guess he never heard of Spiro T. Agnew.
posted by ubiquity at 2:45 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


All good enough, although I really wish that white folks would not do that whole "anti-gay person of color, gay is the new black!" thing. It is very rhetorically tricky to compare oppressive situations without derailing or saying something ignorant, and (IMO) it's in very poor taste for white people to tell people of color how they ought to be thinking about race. I mean, I know for a fact that there are at least some GLBTQ people of color who are really put off by all that "gay is the new black, let's make implicit comparisons with slavery" thing even when they sympathize with other parts of the message, so why do it?
posted by Frowner at 2:45 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It seems odd to me that you are so very hung up on that point, Egg. I mean, yes, I'm sure you are perfectly correct in the legalistic, constitutionalist, tight-assed way… which completely misses the point.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:46 PM on September 7, 2012


The Whelk: "I have a jerk DM who keeps putting them in campaigns"

I hear they look a bit like a Beholder.
posted by exogenous at 2:46 PM on September 7, 2012


I'm a little sad Kluwe stooped to personal attacks in this note. Its fun to read rebuttal with some great insults but all of the name calling and hyperbole take away from how strong his points are.

I kinda wish Chris would have made him look like an ass without actually calling him one.
posted by ibfrog at 2:47 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


He does contextualize it really well, though, Frowner, given what Burns said:
2. "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." Holy fucking shitballs. Did you seriously just say that, as someone who's "deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland"? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you're going to say that political views have "no place in a sport"?
posted by rtha at 2:48 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


A commenter on Volokh had a great rejoinder to Del. Burns:

So he is one of those conservative Black church going types, whom God is telling they should oppose gay marriage because Leviticus should be followed to the letter -- minus the shellfish condemnation, because, after all, this is Maryland.
posted by Cash4Lead at 2:49 PM on September 7, 2012 [27 favorites]


Wow.

Wow.

Holy...

I'm gobsmacked here. I mean, good for him, but...I can't imagine giving someone a lashing like that. I am in awe. This is just too awesome for words.
posted by ColdChef at 2:52 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


He does contextualize it really well, though, Frowner, given what Burns said:

Yeah, but there's still a sort of whiff of "you are a disgrace to the civil rights legacy of the state/our society", which is just not something that I think white people should be saying, especially to people they, like, didn't grow up with. I just think that when one is making this type of case, it's better not to say things that are going to create an "oppression olympics" atmosphere - I've been in (and occasionally caused) too many of those to feel that they are helpful. I feel like it's weird to say "take the high road in your piece where you use the phrase 'lustful cockmonster'" but still....

I myself picture the lustful cockmonster as a basilisk.
posted by Frowner at 2:53 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I kinda wish Chris would have made him look like an ass without actually calling him one.

Burns has managed to make himself look like an ass all on his own, no help from Kluwe. And I'd bet money that he's received many, many letters and emails from his constituents that are polite and heartfelt and have no swearing in them. And he still hasn't changed his mind.

on preview: Frowner, I don't get that whiff (though it wouldn't surprise me that it's there), but the smackdown specifically about the "no politics in sports" part was dead on.
posted by rtha at 2:56 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


After years and years of avoiding comparing the civil rights struggles of the LGBT community, an effort has been made over the last 15 years to do so occasionally and where it made sense. (For example, this was really something that people avoided more back when I was in college, but they do not do so as much now.) I'm pretty sure if you look back at the last 15 years of change, we'll find that the pearl clutching around "not being offensive when dealing with offensive ideals" was pretty much a bad place to start from, and I'm glad people in positions to speak their mind aren't playing those worry-wart games anymore.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:57 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Although I dunno, I do hang around with a bunch of people who are all very fussy about stuff - I realize I'm writing as though somehow I'm a white person speaking for, like, a consensus of people of color, which is dumb. I'm really "speaking for" my friends the language-sensitive anarchists of a variety of racial backgrounds, so I guess I should remember that mileage varies a LOT. We are united in our picky-ness, really.
posted by Frowner at 2:58 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


That smackdown is truly a thing of utter beauty. The cadence of vocabulary, factual reference and lyrical profanity - just wow!
posted by leslies at 2:59 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The 1st Amendment applies to the states as a result of the Supreme Court doctrine of incorporation.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:00 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Man, I wish I could write letters like this to people who piss me off. I can't wait to be an old man with no consequences.
posted by ColdChef at 3:01 PM on September 7, 2012 [19 favorites]


Ayanbadejo was born in Chicago to a Nigerian father and an American mother of Irish descent.

So, Frowner, about what white people should and should not be saying... Thanks for the handy guide. Can you just verify the acceptable whiteness percentages? Or is someone thinking Ayanbadejo is a different kind of Black Irish? And, like, if the people you grew up with are a few thousand miles away, or dead, or not exactly the people you want to associate with? I just wonder what the Civil Rights movement in the 60s would have been like with your ground rules.
posted by TomSophieIvy at 3:03 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


C'mon nerds, we're better than this. If it's a one-eyed, fleshy, snake-like monster, we're obviously talking about the astral dreadnought.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:03 PM on September 7, 2012


Last year the 49ers did an "it gets better" anti-bullying ad targeted at LGBT youths. I think other bay area teams may have done so as well.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:03 PM on September 7, 2012


rtha: Burns has managed to make himself look like an ass all on his own, no help from Kluwe.

I completely agree. But I don't think yelling "Holy Fucking Shitballs" is going to sway him either.
posted by ibfrog at 3:06 PM on September 7, 2012


Those of you with burgeoning Chris Kluwe crushes may want to skip this video where he sells the rights to wear the #5 Vikings jersey to Donovan McNabb in exchange for five plugs for his band at press conferences, a $5000 donation to Kluwe's favourite charity, and an ice cream cone.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 3:09 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why skip it? Is there anything wrong with ice cream or charity?

NOTE: As an Eagles fan, I will concede that there is something wrong with Donovan McNabb.
posted by workingdankoch at 3:12 PM on September 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


I have lived long enough to know that I can love a celebrity for an awesome thing they do even when that are not awesome 24/7.

And I'm not even a football fan!
posted by rtha at 3:14 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm sure you are perfectly correct in the legalistic, constitutionalist, tight-assed way… which completely misses the point.

For me, the point was "I don't like when My Side incorrectly cites the First Amendment any better than when the Other Side does it." We have a just cause; we don't need that kind of false rhetoric.

So when Kluwe explicitly accuses Burns of violating the First Amendment, I must - even at the risk of seeming tight-assed - point out that this is, you know, not true. Neither it nor Article 40 of the Maryland Constitution's Declaration of Rights prohibits the government from financially disadvantaging speech it doesn't like.

I find no conflict between this and cheering Kluwe for so deliciously telling a bigot how he can fuck off.
posted by Egg Shen at 3:16 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


But I don't think yelling "Holy Fucking Shitballs" is going to sway him either.

The governor is never, ever going to change his mind.

Someone reading this diatribe might change their vote.

Well, wait. Nobody that disagrees the punter is going to change their mind, either.

So, at best, someone reading this diatribe might think, "Our governor did what? Maybe I should actually, you know, vote once in a while."

And then if that's the case ... interesting language and "holy fucking shitballs" is actually a good thing.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:17 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, rooting for the Ravens, I can do, but the Vikings? That's going to be hard.

Nice command of invective, though. Maybe I can root for the Vikings during kicks.


This one's easy, just root for UCLA, where they both played in college.

So says the fellow (proud) Bruin.
posted by roquetuen at 3:17 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've been in mad love with Kluwe for a while now. I can't remember when it started, but I do know it had nothing with his gay marriage stance. When that subject came up, it sorta started getting weird -- like hoping he's happy but wishing he'd get traded (if it wouldn't make him too unhappy) because I was unsure how a Bears fan could feel so strongly for somebody who plays for a divisional rival. Like, now that I try to explain it, I realize I gave this an uncomfortable amount of thought-levels of weird.

I'm a fellow Bears fan, and I don't get why there's a problem rooting for Kluwe. He's the Vikings punter, for crying out loud. Hell, I hope the guy has a banner year, and breaks every punting record in the books.
posted by zoog at 3:29 PM on September 7, 2012 [15 favorites]


Average yards per punt, touchback percentage and return average included?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:32 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is some epic evidence supporting the rarely discussed contrarian theory that getting slammed around a lot playing pro football actually makes a man think more clearly.

Well, he's a punter, so not so much... Unless you're talking about Ayanbadejo, in which case, you're totally right. Linebackers take (and deal out) ridiculous amounts of punishment.

(This Yahoo article about Kluwe is pretty hilarious: "Chris is not a football fan. He doesn’t follow other teams’ games. He’d prefer to play sports than watch them. The beautiful, wide flat screen television in his living room isn’t even hooked up to cable. When his father, Ron, asked him after the Vikings’ first game who the team was playing next, Chris shrugged. Heck if he knew.")
posted by kmz at 3:32 PM on September 7, 2012 [5 favorites]



So, Frowner, about what white people should and should not be saying... Thanks for the handy guide. Can you just verify the acceptable whiteness percentages? Or is someone thinking Ayanbadejo is a different kind of Black Irish? And, like, if the people you grew up with are a few thousand miles away, or dead, or not exactly the people you want to associate with? I just wonder what the Civil Rights movement in the 60s would have been like with your ground rules.


(Just to clarify real quick - it's Kluwe we're talking about. I'm sure we're on the same page about how white folks should not assume that they can say the same stuff about race that people of color can - even if we disagree about exactly what that "stuff" is.)

Look, let's step this back a minute. What if we assume that both you and I want good outcomes - an end to racism, an end to homophobia? I bet if we had this conversation in person, we could each get some meaningful stuff out of it. Let's have the internet conversation in that spirit - I know how easily a complicated conversation can go totally off the rails and be pointless.

Here is where I am coming from: as a white person, I've been in lots of situations, where white people (including me!) have said some stuff about race that is presumptuous - where we think that we can "correct" people of color about what it means to be people of color. Think "well, actually, that person who said [racist thing] was probably just confused, even though you've had that same experience many times before" or "I have a black friend and he says [THING] isn't racist". I've also been in situations where white people, including me, have talked about racism as if it were, like, a geometry problem to be solved instead of something that is intense and emotional and real. Or like it's something where it's easy to compare slavery to whatever (like PETA comparing slavery to factory farms - I'm a vegan and I think that's stupid.) In those situations, I've seen my friends and community members who are people of color or close to people of color feel hurt and frustrated and alienated from a situation where they thought they were at home. (In veganism, when PETA does something stupid AGAIN, that just makes everything suck both for many vegans of color that I know and for those of us who have vegan friends of color.)

I know I'm using analogies to critique analogies here, but you know how when we're talking about great historical evils, it is frowned upon to say "this is Just Like the Nazis!" It's derailing, it makes people feel bad, it is impossible to prove. I mean, any genocide or abuse is terrible. So people just get upset when a pointless comparison is brought out.

When folks are feeling alienated and at odds, it's really hard to do good political and community work.

I think it's really easy to frame this as "keep a constantly updated mental list of 'things I must not say for political reasons'" and to feel like it's all about the Stalin, especially because I think that in the US we have a really limited vocabulary for talking about race and racism, and the whole thing is really fraught. For me I end up thinking that it's more like "keep your eye on the goal" - my goal is to support anti-racism, and if I hear or read a lot of comments from anti-racist people, especially people of color, about "when I hear this it makes me feel that white folks Just Do Not Get It", then I want to stop saying that thing. It's more like manners and good-fellowship than "keeping a list".

Obviously, when you're having conversations in person with people you know, the scope of the conversation is totally different - because you have that relationship and that history together and can talk in a more complicated way about race and analogies and stuff.

See, that's where I'm coming from - my lived experience of trying (and like as not failing) to be a better community member. Your experience is obviously different from mine, but I figure we're both trying in our different ways to get to the same place.
posted by Frowner at 3:34 PM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Homeboy Trouble: "Those of you with burgeoning Chris Kluwe crushes may want to skip this video "

You warned me -- but yet I did. I guess, though, it did help crystallize my crush in a way that makes me less embarrassed:

Kluwe is a funny, video game playing guy who'd be okay with me being gay who is also a football player who plays bass who plays sports but doesn't take it too seriously -- if you'd been able to bore into my 14 year old brain and get past all the self-loathing and other baggage to find the "idealized boyfriend" I didn't know I was looking for, he's awfully close. Somehow realizing that makes it less embarrassing -- though I still wish he played in a different division.

On preview, zooq has solved this oh-so-obvious problem (with the caveat that he can punt for as long as he can as long as they get run back occasionally)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:39 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kluwe is an absolute asset to the NFL. Ayanbadejo, too. Is there a list of players who have spoken in favor of LGBT rights out there somewhere?
posted by troika at 3:43 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Guys we're all missing the point, we got to get him to switch teams.

I mean, really, Reddit?
posted by The Whelk at 3:43 PM on September 7, 2012 [29 favorites]


"If gay marriage becomes legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you'll start thinking about penis?"
I'd wager he already does. It sure seems like there's a way higher percentage of gay men amongst the rabid homophobe politician population than amongst the general population.
posted by Flunkie at 3:44 PM on September 7, 2012


troika, I made a post a while back about Saints linebacker Scott Fujita.
posted by rtha at 3:53 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Somehow realizing that makes it less embarrassing -- though I still wish he played in a different division.

I see what you did there.
posted by chavenet at 3:54 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Side note: Fujita's bounty ban was just lifted for this season (as were the other three Saints players').
posted by mudpuppie at 3:57 PM on September 7, 2012


Suddenly I find myself wanting to know about football, just so I can support this guy in some tangible form.

And also give him a big hug and buy him a drink.

(Dear my Lightning hockey team: y'all need to step up. Be like this guy.)
posted by cmyk at 3:58 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Neither it nor Article 40 of the Maryland Constitution's Declaration of Rights prohibits the government from financially disadvantaging speech it doesn't like.

Thankfully, that's not how the courts have understood free speech. Really, how free would be if the government could choose to impose extra taxes on those with unpopular political or religious views?
posted by Area Man at 4:04 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I meant to write "how free would we be if the government could choose to impose extra taxes on those with unpopular political or religious views?"
posted by Area Man at 4:07 PM on September 7, 2012


(Dear my Lightning hockey team: y'all need to step up. Be like this guy.)

Already done -- watch Steven Stamkos of the Lightning speaking out for You Can Play in support of all athletes regardless of sexual orientation. (It's not exactly the best video the project has put together; The Faceoff looks more like an HBO documentary and less like a hostage video, but you asked for the Lightning.)
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 4:10 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kluwe's letter was so much fun to read! I think I'll read it again right now.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 4:14 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Given the jokes I hear every season about the homoerotic nature of some aspects of football...I'm perplexed by the delegates use of the word "excitement."

Ok. Not perplexed. I'm amused. Like, laughing over here really hard, amused. And then I read back a few words and there is Pride.

Huh. Pride and excitement. It's like an intern with a sense of humor wrote that letter after taking some vague dictation. I hope that's the case, and if so, dear intern...well played. If the delegate wrote this letter all by himself, well, he needs an editor to catch these sorts of unintended freudian slips.
posted by bilabial at 4:19 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Governor Thomas J. Carcetti rubs his eyes, "Explain to me again why you are mad?"
Delegate Emmett C. Burns quivers, his fists clenched in rage. "Some motherfuckin kicker said 'shitballs' to me! Me! Shitballs!"
"And this is a problem how?" Carcetti sighs, one finger playing across the sticky note reminding him of his upcoming "lunch date."
"I'm an elected official! I don't have to take this crap from some meathead football player! Besides, dude has probably had so many head injuries he's got the thinking skills of a reta-"
"Hup!" says Carcetti sharply. "You said the guy's a kicker. So no brain injuries there. Hell, looking at what you wrote to the Ravens... the only person showing signs of brain damage here is you."
"Shheeeeettt."
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:21 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Um, Cool Papa Bell, our governor is Martin O'Malley. You may know him from such events as the Democratic National Convention and his many spirited denunciations of Mitt Romney and condemnations of Republican policies. That improvident lackwit Burns is a state representative.
posted by wintermind at 4:25 PM on September 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


> Maryland Consitution... every citizen of the State ought to be allowed to speak

Another one. I was curious about this because I recently discovered Washington state has an affirmative right of free speech. California's was the linchpin of Pruneyard v. Robins. I've been looking for a list and re-prompted, I finally found one at the website of the best people in the world, the Southern Poverty Law Center.
free-er: Alaska, California, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wyoming

same as US Constitution free: Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin
Huh. Based on case law, Maryland's constitution isn't "free-er".
posted by morganw at 4:39 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Area Man is correct. Both Article 40 and the First Amendment apply, as the First Amendment has been incorporated against the states.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:41 PM on September 7, 2012


Rtha - Yeah, I knew about Fujita. I am looking for a list of players. Unless there are only those three?
posted by troika at 4:42 PM on September 7, 2012


Kluwe always has something to say and it's usually something pretty damn good, I'm surprised he doesn't end up giving his salary back to the NFL in fines. He's alright for someone who plays for the Vikings. Go Pack! San Dimas football rules!
posted by MikeMc at 4:47 PM on September 7, 2012


I hear they look a bit like a Beholder.

Yeah, but "Beauty is in the eye of the lustful cockmonster." just doesn't have the same ring to it.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:54 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Do you picture em like chicken parts or baguettes?
posted by lazaruslong at 4:57 PM on September 7, 2012


Frowner, there are obvious parallels to the civil rights movement for black people and the civil rights movement for gay people . If someone is going around saying "this is bad as slavery!!!", that, yeah, that's poor from. But I think white people are qualified to compare the current situation to another situation, and if done so respectfully, I don't see the point of anyone, regardless of race, getting bent out of shape about it. I doubt there are a whole lot of people who are passionately for gay rights but against racial quality, so can't you just give people the benefit of the doubt to them and assume they're are fellow travelers? Does someone who pushes an analogy a little too far really need to be reeducated here?
posted by spaltavian at 4:58 PM on September 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


It seems to me that the movement toward greater equality is gaining steam. I think there is much more awareness of how shitty it is to put people down. More out-spokeness, and more speaking-out from empathetic individuals who swim in white/male/class privilege. It gives one hope, it does!
posted by five fresh fish at 5:03 PM on September 7, 2012


The governor is never, ever going to change his mind.

Cool Papa Bell, Maryland's governor is strongly pro-gay marriage. He's had to negotiate within his own party to get it passed. (Maryland is extremely Democratic, but the coalition has a lot of membership in culturally conservative African American communities.) It is a Democratic Delegate who wrote this letter.
posted by spaltavian at 5:06 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure "Kluwe" rhymes with "Louie" /vikingsfan

Okay, rooting for the Ravens, I can do, but the Vikings? That's going to be hard.

Well, Kluwe's the punter, so you only see him if they fail to advance the ball. You can root for them to fail so you see him more often. And you'll have plenty of opportunities this season. /sadvikingsfan
posted by kirkaracha at 5:08 PM on September 7, 2012


Governor, delegate, whatever. It's not even a real state.

/me ducks to avoid Ray Lewis
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:21 PM on September 7, 2012


That was awesome. I want to take writing (or maybe just insult) classes from him, so my responses to emails could be that epic.
posted by bashos_frog at 5:39 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


there are obvious parallels to the civil rights movement for black people and the civil rights movement for gay people.

Funnily enough, there are people involved in both. We could even ask them about it (well, not Rustin, he's dead).
posted by hoyland at 5:41 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


this is the kind of epic smackdown we blacks & latin@s need to do more often of the homophobe scourge within our own communities. all my internet votes go to Kluwe.
posted by liza at 6:33 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Excellent letter. So now I suppose I've got an NFL team to support, if anyone asks. Which they won't, but hey...
posted by pompomtom at 6:40 PM on September 7, 2012


OK, now I need a parody of the B-52s, entitled "Cockmonster."

Kluwe can play bass.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:05 PM on September 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


First, Kluwe appeared on the "Hang Up and Listen" podcast in Sept. 2011, and he's pretty damn smart/funny/cool: link to podcast web page

Egghead podcast co-host Stefan Fatsis wrote a book (called "A Few Seconds of Panic") about spending training camp as a punter, and he and Kluwe got on like a house afire. The podcast is definitely worth a listen

Second, growing up in Minnesota the Vikings were sometimes derisively called the Vi-queens. I am not sure whether to revive that tradition in order to emphasize how GLBTQ-friendly they are, or pretend it never happened.

In any case, this was a wonderful letter. Great fun!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:12 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cool Papa Bell, moving here from Louisiana was a big step forward in the governance department, and a huge step backwards in the food department. Mileage definitely varies.
posted by wintermind at 7:14 PM on September 7, 2012


OK, now I need a parody of the B-52s, entitled "Cockmonster"

It wasn't a cock...

It was a cockMONSTER!

Down, down, down...
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:39 PM on September 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Followup: Kluwe talking about his letter on MSNBC.
posted by googly at 7:43 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


This fucks with my reality. I never really thought sports people could be my heroes.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:53 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thank you, googly. Great follow-up!
posted by Curious Artificer at 7:58 PM on September 7, 2012


So this prediction from his twitter feed didn't come true?

Also I'll be on MSNBC tonight around 8est on the Ed Schultz Show. My guess is we talk about secrets to successful tabletop miniature gaming.

posted by selfmedicating at 8:18 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know that article feels pretty cathartic to folks, but I still think it was pretty awful.

Think about this: would this level of vitriol ever be accepted from one Mefite to another in a thread?
posted by bpm140 at 8:19 PM on September 7, 2012


would this level of vitriol ever be accepted from one Mefite to another in a thread?

Probably not. But that level of vitriol, addressed to a government official using their office to encourage a corporation to curtail an employee's freedom of speech, when that speech has been used simply to advocate for kindness and respect, is entirely appropriate.

The standards that I'm glad to see prevail here aren't the standards that are in play, or that necessarily should be in play, anywhere else.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:22 PM on September 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


Standards are different in different places. And Kluwe doesn't owe us or Burns jack. He expressed himself in a way that seems to have hit a note for a lot of people, in both the what and the how.
posted by rtha at 8:26 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fair 'nuff. But I'll happily stick with "be the change you wish to see".
posted by bpm140 at 8:41 PM on September 7, 2012


Ok ok ok fine. Fair enough. 
Then what WILL magically turn me into a lustful cockmonster?

Cuz I am runnin out of weekend over here. 
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:44 PM on September 7, 2012 [13 favorites]


I'd say that the level of vitriol is pretty acceptable, given that it's an elected official telling a private company to shut up an employee that makes the government official uncomfortable, especially since said employee is simply advocating equality. People who are actively against equal rights shouldn't be made to feel comfortable just because they hold views more at home in the dark ages.

That, and Kluwe is speaking to his audience. He's been writing on and off for Deadspin for a long time. Had he written a polite letter of dissent, most of us wouldn't hear about it. If it made it to Deadspin, there'd be a lot of 'needs more cockmonster' jokes in the comments.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:46 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sure, bpm, I totally get that, and I try to do that myself. But sometimes the change I want to see is for people to really understand how angry I am.
posted by rtha at 8:49 PM on September 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


Okay, I don't know from football, but I suddenly have big ol' crushes on Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe. Hello, handsome, can I nibble on your earlobe while you murmur sweet words about respect and embracing diversity? Or if you're not into that, can I gaze at you in a respectfully admiring starry-eyed way while you talk?

And "active NFL players speaking up publicly in favor of same-sex marriage and gay rights" is another of those things that make me think I can't believe I'm seeing this in my lifetime.
posted by Lexica at 8:51 PM on September 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is not the exchange I would have imagined between football players and a Democrat politician.
posted by rocket88 at 8:51 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Then what WILL magically turn me into a lustful cockmonster?

There's some chanting, some burning of herbs, and about half a bottle of Jack.
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


1. How to respond to stupid letters to football teams (here, the Cleveland Browns).

2. What's with all the random capitalized words in Burns' letter?
posted by neuron at 9:06 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Why do you hate freedom?"

It's such a stunningly obvious and effective rebuke to the anti-gay marriage argument. I'm surprised you don't hear it publicly said more often. Could you imagine the presidential debate?

Governor Romney, how would your administration respond to state and local legislative bodies' attempts to legalize same sex marriage?

"Well, Bryan, I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and we would use whatever means at our disposal to block such attempts."

Mr. President, your response?

"Governor Romney, why do you hate freedom?"
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:20 PM on September 7, 2012 [14 favorites]


I saw this on Facebook, and then went trawling through Kruwe's Twitter feed for a bit.

I think I'm more than a little bit in love.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:20 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


You can never really be too careful, guys. I innocently attend a couple gay weddings, and afterwards, everything seems normal for a few days, then blam.
posted by Lustful Cockmonster at 9:25 PM on September 7, 2012 [28 favorites]


Fantasy football team name just changed to Lustful Cockmonsters. It was "I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!" This is much more enjoyable.
posted by fyrebelley at 9:25 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is that mini in Chris Kluwe's Twitter userpic his Warcraft character? Or does he do tabletop gaming too? If so, I may have to invite him to join my RPG group...
posted by jiawen at 9:27 PM on September 7, 2012


But sometimes the change I want to see is for people to really understand how angry I am.


Quoted for truth, emphasis mine.
posted by padraigin at 9:29 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


On the gay marriage issue? That's where I'm a Viking.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:07 PM on September 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


OH SHIT MARRIED GAY VIKINGS SPOTTED OFF THE COAST OF IRELAND
posted by The Whelk at 10:08 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is that mini in Chris Kluwe's Twitter userpic his Warcraft character? Or does he do tabletop gaming too? If so, I may have to invite him to join my RPG group...

They should recruit him for Celebrity D&D.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:18 PM on September 7, 2012


Also, in case anyone didn't know already, there's a constitutional amendment on the ballot in Minnesota this November to make same-sex marriage illegal. It's good that Kluwe's speaking out, because hatred is dangerously close to getting enshrined in this state's constitution.

In case anyone's unclear (I've heard some people are unclear what the amendment means), vote "no" on the amendment to show you don't want marriage restricted to one man and one woman.
posted by jiawen at 10:52 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


From Kluwe's Twitter:

"So over 3000 replies and I've only gotten 2 "LOL UR A FAG PUNTER HERP A DERP"s. I may have to reconsider my pessimistic outlook on humanity." [with thanks to the MeFite who re-tweeted it]
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:43 AM on September 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


May the Vikings be forced to punt relentlessly, and may all his his kicks be strong, straight and true.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:15 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but there's still a sort of whiff of "you are a disgrace to the civil rights legacy of the state/our society", which is just not something that I think white people should be saying, especially to people they, like, didn't grow up with.

I think it's reasonable to point out the hypocrisy of someone who supports civil rights for some but not others, regardless of their demographic group. If it stings an unusual amount because someone identifies with the civil rights moment for their own demographic group...well, it should, and not because it's the fault of the person pointing it out.
posted by jaduncan at 6:06 AM on September 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's such a stunningly obvious and effective rebuke to the anti-gay marriage argument. I'm surprised you don't hear it publicly said more often. Could you imagine the presidential debate?

Oh, we're using it in Minnesota. 'Freedom' definitely appears on the yard signs.

In case anyone's unclear (I've heard some people are unclear what the amendment means), vote "no" on the amendment to show you don't want marriage restricted to one man and one woman.

I'm wonder about this. Because it looks like you'd have to be a real idiot to not understand that wording. Of course, Prop 8 was pretty darn clear on the ballot, at least after Jerry Brown made it clear, and people said voter confusion was an issue. (Is there actual polling on this? Because we also had 'blame black people' after Prop 8, which wasn't supported by the numbers at all.)

I also wonder if being the 'no' side of a constitutional amendment in Minnesota is an advantage--you need 50%+1 of the total ballots cast, so abstentions on the amendment question count towards the 'no' side, essentially. It's probably not a significant advantage, though.

That said, the polls appear to be going all over the place. Polling is actually somewhere where I think reversing 'yes' and 'no' could be an issue. Confusing what "Minnesota Marriage Amendment" means when asked if you support it is much easier than misunderstanding the ballot. Of course, I assume people actually read the more than one word ('marriage') of the ballot question, which might be a bit much.

I might feel differently the day after election day, but I'm way more worried about losing on voter ID. If we lose on marriage, well, it'll be a massive rebuke to the gay powers that be in Minnesota, who have opted to pursue legislation rather than litigation, but it's a hell of a lot easier to reverse that amendment or challenge it in the courts than it'd be to reverse voter ID.
posted by hoyland at 6:29 AM on September 8, 2012


Oh, we're using it in Minnesota. 'Freedom' definitely appears on the yard signs.

These?
posted by VoteBrian at 7:54 AM on September 8, 2012


Second, growing up in Minnesota the Vikings were sometimes derisively called the Vi-queens.

I usually only hear that from jerks. Or Packers fans. But I repeat myself.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:20 AM on September 8, 2012


Chris Kluwe posted an AWESOME clean version of the letter, "Inquisitive Kitten Pawing at Yarn"

“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.” DISAPPOINTED LEMUR FACE WITH SOLITARY TEAR TRICKLING DOWN TO CHIN

and

I’ve also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your “I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing” and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. UNFORTUNATELY PHALLIC HEDGE SCULPTURE.
posted by mercredi at 9:23 AM on September 8, 2012 [8 favorites]



Chris Kluwe posted an AWESOME clean version of the letter, "Inquisitive Kitten Pawing at Yarn"

posted by The Whelk at 9:30 AM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


"His words degrade the very essence of the English language with their barely hidden venom and intolerant hate; drag it screaming into the muck of iniquity by wrapping a mantle of seeming reasonableness around corruption and control; masquerade as discourse while screaming their very lie to any Heaven you care to name – I could go on."

Aaaah! This guy is a football player?! For real?

Nevermind wishing that the other football, as in European/international football aka soccer, had someone speaking out so passionately in favour of gay marriage (nevermind wishing some gay footballers came out and proved the existence of such a oh so improbable thing, or that at least footballers stopped telling others that it's best that they don't come out, or wishing that they supported anti-homophobic campaigns, and other such apparently impossible wishes) - it'd be something already shockingly good to have footballers who can be so articulate!

I would bet a lot of the gay, and gay-friendly, no scratch that, simply sensible fans of that other football are a bit envious right now.
posted by bitteschoen at 9:51 AM on September 8, 2012


Now officially completely in lurve.
posted by Space Kitty at 10:01 AM on September 8, 2012


Okay, FINE, Chris Kluwe, I will totally go out with you.
posted by palomar at 10:12 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dear Americans, can we trade you a David Beckham in his H&M underpants for this guy?
posted by bitteschoen at 10:22 AM on September 8, 2012


The amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech..."

Why edit a single sentence? In full, it reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Ayanbadejo is not just engaging in any random "speech," he is asking for a law to be changed. Petitioning the Government for a redress of grievances is political speech, and as such, is under stronger Constitutional protections. As Scalia stated in R.A.V. vs St. Paul, "A State may choose to prohibit only that obscenity which is the most patently offensive in its prurience — i.e., that which involves the most lascivious displays of sexual activity. But it may not prohibit, for example, only that obscenity which includes offensive political messages. "

Further the Supreme Court has generally determined that issues of funding can be considered under the umbrella of making laws, although the protections afforded are somewhat looser. (Scalia has argued in a partially concurring opinion in NEA v Finley that they should be nil, though I suspect he'd turn that argument on his head were it his own favored cause facing the chopping block) In Rust v W. Sullivan, Rehnquist upheld the withholding of abortion funds, stating that, "In so doing, the Government has not discriminated on the basis of viewpoint; it has merely chosen to fund one activity to the exclusion of another." But the point to take home from that is that in this case Burns has discriminated on the basis of viewpoint - he's openly stated his objection to Ayanbadejo's position, and it would be difficult for him to argue later on that withdrawing tax favored status would not be a restraint on political speech.

Having said that, I would reluctantly agree that if he falls short of taking punitive action, his words by themselves do not fall afoul of the first amendment. If the tables were turned and say, Ed Reed had made some kind of homophobic rant, and Burns wrote to Bisciotti strongly expressing displeasure over that, we would all be applauding his speaking out.
posted by xigxag at 10:30 AM on September 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Dear Americans, can we trade you a David Beckham in his H&M underpants for this guy?

Too late.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:31 AM on September 8, 2012


Ran across this Deadspin article written by Kluwe on a different site.. the fellow is certainly a master of the use of profanity.
posted by edgeways at 11:35 AM on September 8, 2012


kirkaracha: I usually only hear that from jerks. Or Packers fans. But I repeat myself.

Or in a household that prefers college (Gopher) hockey to pro football? Just sayin'. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 1:25 PM on September 8, 2012


(nevermind wishing some gay footballers came out and proved the existence of such a oh so improbable thing, or that at least footballers stopped telling others that it's best that they don't come out, or wishing that they supported anti-homophobic campaigns, and other such apparently impossible wishes)

So, actually, the guy in the "don't come out" link, Philipp Lahm, is the only Bundesliga player who turns up like clockwork for the DFB's anti-homophobia campaigns. It's gotten to the point where I've started laughing when Zwanziger goes "We're very, very serious about this. Look! Interview Philipp Lahm!" Then the media interview one of four or five women, Tatjana Eggeling and Volker Beck and the story goes away after a week until the next time. It's fairly well established there are a couple of gay players in the Bundesliga who have decided they don't want the hassle of coming out publicly, where 'well-established' means sportswriters have acknowledged they know whose some of these players are. I'm half expecting Bild or whoever to out somebody one day, not maliciously, but because they'll forget they've been scrupulously not outing the guy.

The ironic thing is that, when the subject comes up, the German media wrings their hands about no one in German football having come out, while Justin Fashanu came out twenty years ago, when, in reality, the situation in Germany is likely better than it is in Britain. (Nobody turned up to make the video, but I also have the impression the FA didn't try to hard to persuade them.)
posted by hoyland at 3:28 PM on September 8, 2012


A Viking in the news for something other than choking his girlfriend, driving drunk, fighting in a club or otherwise embarrassing himself in the press! ZOMG!!

He's my new favorite.
posted by koucha at 3:53 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


hoyland: "I wonder about this. Because it looks like you'd have to be a real idiot to not understand that wording. Of course, Prop 8 was pretty darn clear on the ballot, at least after Jerry Brown made it clear, and people said voter confusion was an issue. (Is there actual polling on this? Because we also had 'blame black people' after Prop 8, which wasn't supported by the numbers at all.)"

The only instances I've heard of people not understanding the phrasing have been anecdotal, but let's face it, lots of people don't read ballot motions carefully. Heck, lots of people don't read ballot instructions carefully.

The state Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, tried to rename the amendment (and another that would require photo ID to vote) -- at least he felt they were ambiguously named -- but the state Supreme Court struck down his renaming.
posted by jiawen at 5:10 PM on September 8, 2012


In the past week, Ayanbadejo has been contacted by supporters in Brazil, Norway, England, Australia, Colombia and Ireland. He has also been overwhelmed by the support of his Ravens teammates and other N.F.L. players. “I’d say the majority of players are siding with me, that all people have a right to live and love and be happy,” Ayanbadejo said in a telephone interview. “That’s really amazing. I’m very happy to see the tides changing in the positive.” NYT
posted by rtha at 8:35 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I would bet a lot of the gay, and gay-friendly, no scratch that, simply sensible fans of that other football are a bit envious right now.

Most definitely. The Americans are way ahead on this one. Interesting article here saying that gay players in England are talking to the players' union about coming out, but none of them are ready to do so, mainly over fears of the media reaction.
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:16 AM on September 9, 2012


Twice last year Chris Kluwe was a guest on the How to Do Everything podcast, and he revealed his trick for fighting robots.

And since people seem to be fans of Amadeus Prime Ayanbadejo, here's a photo.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:03 AM on September 9, 2012


"there are obvious parallels to the civil rights movement for black people and the civil rights movement for gay people . If someone is going around saying "this is bad as slavery!!!", that, yeah, that's poor from. But I think white people are qualified to compare the current situation to another situation, and if done so respectfully, I don't see the point of anyone, regardless of race, getting bent out of shape about it. I doubt there are a whole lot of people who are passionately for gay rights but against racial quality, so can't you just give people the benefit of the doubt to them and assume they're are fellow travelers? Does someone who pushes an analogy a little too far really need to be reeducated here?"

So, I wanted to remark on a couple things here: Civil rights analogies and freedom as rhetoric.

What we've found in doing message testing and focus groups is that if you describe "the freedom to marry" as "just like" or "the same as" the Civil Rights movement, people who disagree or are neutral will immediately think of ways that it's different, like "Well, but gay people can pretend to be straight; black people can't pretend to be white." It's something that's an obvious parallel for folks on this side of the issue, not so much for folks on the other side. Likewise, using "rights" language tends to devolve into a pedantic back and forth about what legalisms are required of the state. It doesn't convince so much as retrench.

What are effective are two interrelated tacks: Describing marriage as a freedom, which all Americans — but especially folks who tend to be against marriage for same-sex couples — have a positive emotional response to, and using positive emotional language which focuses on the marriage more than the couple (hence "marriage for same sex couples" rather than "same-sex marriage"). We've found it particularly effective to focus on the emotional response of "marriage" as a word, especially to counter the "civil unions are good enough" position.

The place I work for has a whole workbook on what's effective and how to set up conversations with friends and family about the freedom to marry, and if any of you guys are curious (especially in Minnesota, Maryland and Maine), I'll be happy to send you a link to the whole program. We've been doing extensive message testing here in California because it's easier to get clean data than in the midst of a campaign, but if anyone wants to help with this, we have an online tracker that lets us use your data for message testing too.
posted by klangklangston at 10:21 AM on September 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Thanks To Chris Kluwe, Gay-Baiting Maryland Legislator Decides NFL Players Have A Right To Say What They Think After All
In the wake of Kluwe's remarks, Burns initially defended his letter, saying something on Friday about it being best for "a public person representing a public team" to avoid saying anything controversial. But in a weekend phone interview with the Baltimore Sun, Burns finally relented:
Upon reflection, he has his First Amendment rights. And I have my First Amendment rights. … Each of us has the right to speak our opinions. The football player and I have a right to speak our minds.
Gee. Who knew? Ayanbadejo told the Sun Burns's backtracking was "a little too late from a damage control perspective." The Ravens linebacker also told the newspaper how much sentiment on the topic seems to be changing in NFL locker rooms:
His advocacy used to lead to "snickers in the locker room" and a jokes that he is gay (he is not).

Not anymore. He said at least 10 teammates have offered support in recent days. The switch in attitude, he said, "has happened faster than I ever thought it would happen."
Translation: It's getting better.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:26 AM on September 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


CNN Interview (with video): Brendon Ayanbadejo “Thanks” Del. Emmett Burns For Attacking-Marriage Equality Support.
posted by ericb at 12:15 PM on September 10, 2012


All Things Considered on the above.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:31 PM on September 10, 2012


His advocacy used to lead to "snickers in the locker room" and a jokes that he is gay (he is not).

That's interesting though - that none of these guys is gay. So there are still no gay football players who came out, even in American football, right?

Come to think of it, which are the sports, worldwide, where any prominent male has come out as gay? can't think of any of the top of my head. Had to google and found stuff like a list of 23 openly gay athletes at the London Olympics this year and a lot of them are females.
posted by bitteschoen at 11:39 PM on September 10, 2012


Kluwe wrote a reaction to Burns' retraction. Essentially Kluwe feels it's not enough to take back words; he wants to know why Delegate Burns opted to exercise oppression.

It's a question I've never before considered asking any politician, much to my dismay, even as I laugh at the "misspoken" words of many. I consider this an eye-opener and it's probably going to be the first question I think of next time I read about a politician in the news.

Speaking of politicians who "misspeak," aren't most of their speeches written beforehand, shown on a teleprompter? At least, those who are in more of a national spotlight than local districts, such as Ryan and Romney for the GOP.
posted by CancerMan at 9:47 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


"The campaign regrets to announce that the candidate was mis-prompted."
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:23 AM on September 11, 2012


OMG. A big handsome football jock just beat up a bully, for me.

I'm sorry, but I'm crying. It's just too awesome. I love thinking of some kid somewhere feeling 10 times more human than before, and having a crush on Mr. Kluwe. Gawd, I can be a sentimental ninny. So much good karma here, it's wonderful.
posted by Goofyy at 12:03 PM on September 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


NFL Commissioner Doesn't Have a Problem With Players Supporting Same-Sex Marriage
posted by zombieflanders at 1:36 PM on September 12, 2012


Speaking of politicians who "misspeak," aren't most of their speeches written beforehand, shown on a teleprompter? At least, those who are in more of a national spotlight than local districts, such as Ryan and Romney for the GOP.

I think many of the moments of "misspeaking" come from interviews, where the candidates are probably informed of the questions ahead of time, but the candidates have to remember what to say. This is where words can get twisted, and the truth can leak out of well-crafted mush-mouthed phrases. If you forget the exact way to say something, you might say what you intended to say, but more honestly than you had planned.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:24 PM on September 14, 2012


28 current gay-supportive NFL players.
posted by ericb at 8:59 AM on September 15, 2012


Back on the football/soccer tangent, the topic has surfraced again in Germany. There's been an anonymous interview with a gay Bundelisga player published. Which then led to claims it had to be fake, but it's been confirmed by Marcus Urban (who should have made my list of usual suspects to interview).

All those links in German, sorry. Which is kind of why I'm sticking them here, where they only sort of fit, rather than contemplating a FPP.
posted by hoyland at 5:33 AM on September 18, 2012


Now baseball has this shameful embarassment.
posted by exogenous at 5:56 AM on September 18, 2012


Now baseball has this shameful embarassment.

Toronto Blue Jays' Escobar Suspended 3 Games for Anti-Gay Slur, Will Donate Lost Salary to GLAAD, 'You Can Play'.
posted by ericb at 1:11 PM on September 18, 2012


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