Saturday, September 08, 2012
Off-the-field rhubarb over gay marriage support from pro-football players
There is a rhubarb going on right now, about the reported support of gay marriage by Brendon Ayanbejedo. Yahoo! sports has published a letter sent by Maryland delegate Emmet C. Burns Jr. to the Ravens owner (Steve Bisciotti), demanding that he quell his players from speaking out publicly on controversial issues. The Yahoo! link is here.
There is a response (with a funny title) by Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings, here.
Generally, most major league sports figures have indeed stayed away from public controversy, and I suspect they are urged to restrain themselves. Some players (as of the Washington Nationals) are members of evangelical denominations or of the Mormon Church, and I must say that religious upbringing seems to have contributed to their competitive success. (At least, everyone liked it when Bryce Harper called a reporter’s temptation for him to violate the religious drinking ban, or to drink where it’s legal to drink under 21, a “clown question”.)
Social media have indeed enriched the picture, but is has always been problematic for those who make decisions about others in the workplace to weigh in on their own about public issues. That was an issue for me years ago with gays in the military. And it’s an issue with Chick-Fil-A. Big league players are not in that position, of course; but their coaches or managers and owners are.