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Entries in Emmett Burns (2)

Monday
Sep102012

Lawmaker Admits Fumble, NFL Players Do Have Free Speech

Tom Dahlin/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) -- After a testy exchange of scathing letters, Maryland state Delegate Emmett C. Burns has changed his mind and conceded that professional football players have First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.

Last week Burns wrote to Baltimore Ravens owner Steven Biscoitti, saying he found it “inconceivable” that Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was speaking out in support of same-sex marriage. The state delegate, who represents part of Baltimore, demanded that Biscoitti “inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist from such injurious actions.”

But after Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe printed a biting, insult-laced open letter berating Burns for trying to strip Ayanbadejo of his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, Burns backtracked on Sunday.

“Upon reflection, he has his First Amendment rights,” Burns told the Baltimore Sun in a telephone interview. “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.”

Burns told the Sun that despite the controversy, he was still a Ravens fan. In his letter to the team’s owner on Aug. 29 Burns charged that Ayanbadejo, who recently raffled off Ravens tickets to support a pro-gay marriage group, was “dividing the fan base” and should not bring politics into a sport that “is strictly for for pride, entertainment and excitement.”

Ayanbadejo responded to Burns' letter on Twitter, saying, “You know something is wrong when a politician is telling you to keep quiet. So much for freedom of speech, Mr Burns.”

Kluwe had quite a few more choice words for the Maryland delegate.

“How does gay marriage, in any way shape or form, affect your life?” Kluwe wrote in the letter posted to Deadspin.com on Friday. “They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful c**kmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population.”

You can read the full letter on Deadspin.com or the edited version on Kluwe’s blog.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep072012

NFL Punter Goes on Tirade for Gay Marriage

Tom Dahlin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is a professional at drop kicking footballs, and Friday he proved he could rhetorically do the same to a legislator who he said tried to trample the First Amendment rights of another player.

In a scathing, insult-laced letter, Kluwe berated Maryland Rep. Emmett Burns for trying to silence Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, a vocal supporter of gay marriage.

“I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful c**kmonster,” Kluwe wrote, using a slang term for the male anatomy. “They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population.”

The letter from Kluwe, who punts footballs 50 yards every week, was a swift kick of sarcasm:  "You may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words,” peppered with a colorful collection of insults -- “you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain,” condemning Burns for trying to prevent Ayanbadejo from standing up for “freedom.”

Last week Burns sent a letter asking Ravens owner Steve Biscoitti to force Ayanbadejo to keep his political opinions to himself.  Burns said the linebacker should “concentrate on football and steer clear of dividing the fan base,” which Burns claimed was “aghast and appalled” to learn that Ayanbadejo supported gay marriage.

“I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football Franchise owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist from such injurious actions,” Burns wrote to Biscoitti. "I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing.”

That plea for silence was just enough to set Ayanbadejo’s fellow NFL player aflame. Kluwe took to the blogosphere, responding to Burns’ letter with his own, posted to Deadspin Friday.

“I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government,” Kluwe wrote. “Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level.”

The Vikings player goes on to call Burns “mind-boggingly stupid” for trying to strip his fellow NLF player of his First Amendment right to free speech. Kluwe points out that Burns, a Baptist minister, also enjoys the First Amendment right to religious freedom.

“To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word,” Kluwe wrote. “Mindf**king obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit.”

Kluwe said in the letter that he hopes his response makes Burns “reflect upon the magnitude of the colossal foot in mouth clusterf**k you so brazenly unleashed.”

“P.S.,” Kluwe concludes, “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. A**hole.”

Burns could not be reached for comment. His office voicemail box was full.

Read the full text of Kluwe’s letter here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio