Lamenting that the United States is losing its "decency as a nation," Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman announced Monday that he is preparing legislation that would ban gay athletes from playing in the National Football League.
Burkman, who is CEO of Burkman LLC, told the Huffington Post that he began working on the measure after college football star Michael Sam announced he is gay and said he will be pushing Republican legislators in Washington to support it.
Already, he says, five members of the House of Representatives and a senator have expressed interest in co-sponsoring the measure but wouldn't reveal any names. He predicts that support for the bill would rise to 36 House members and five senators in three weeks.
"We are losing our decency as a nation," said Burkman in his statement Monday. "Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man. That's a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?"
When asked why he would pursue such a measure when Sam's announcement received so much support in the media, Burkman said it was a necessary initiative.
"I felt that if the NFL doesn't have any morals, and people like [Commissioner] Roger Goodell, who are just go-along-get-along guys, just want to appease advertisers, appease corporate America and all that stuff. …I figured, well, it is time for conservatives in Congress to step in and define morality for them," he said.
The Huffington Post suggested that Burkman's proposal might be a publicity stunt while Slate gave three reasons why it's not legitimate.
"1. A lobbyist can't actually introduce legislation in Congress; 2. even if they could, this one would have no chance at becoming law; and 3. even if it did, its constitutionality would likely face a serious legal challenge in the courts," he wrote.