February 25, 2014 | by Michael K. Lavers
D.C. lobbyist proposes bill to ban gays from NFL

football, Willamette University, Conner Mertens, gay news, Washington Blade

A D.C. lobbyist has proposed a bill to ban gays from the NFL. (Photo by Jayel Aheram/Creative Commons)

A D.C. lobbyist on Monday said he is preparing a bill that would ban gays from the National Football League.

“It’s about restoring common decency,” said Jack Burkman during an interview with Mike Conneen on News Channel 8’s “Capital Insider.”

Burkman told Conneen he expects the measure will have the support of 36 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and six U.S. senators within 20 days. He repeatedly declined to name a specific lawmaker who will back the measure.

“We welcome you to name one lawmaker who supports your legislation,” said Conneen during the segment.

Burkman also denied his bill is a stunt.

Burkman’s announcement comes one day after Jason Collins became the first openly gay person to play in a game for a major American professional sports league – the former Washington Wizards center played 11 minutes during a Brooklyn Nets game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam earlier this month came out to the New York Times and ESPN. The Texas native is poised to become the country’s first openly gay professional football player.

“What he is doing is positioning himself very well,” Burkman told Conneen, referring to Sam. “He’s shrewd.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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