The League


Brendon Ayanbadejo and Same-Sex Marriage

Should athletes feel obligated to keep their political opinions private?

Posted by Emil Steiner on September 25, 2009 6:00 AM

MVoisinet: NFL Players have absolutely positively NO RIGHT AT ALL to engage in any kind of same sex relationships at all period. God instituted marriag...

trippin: "the nfl would find themselves in a massive court case if they started sanctioning players who say things that are within their constitution...

Catken1: MVoisinet, you are confusing the laws of your narrow and hateful religion with the laws of the land. (I am NOT saying that all Catholics are...

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (14)

ggreenbaum Author Profile Page :

Turn that one on its head. In this day and age, no one is going be castigated much for supporting a liberal agenda item like gay marriage. What if a linebacker said, "I believe gay marriage is wrong and a sin against God." I think he would be sat on very quickly, possibly fined by Dictator Goodell, maybe even suspended.

kemp13 Author Profile Page :

The First Amendment has absolutely no bearing here. The First Amendment states quite clearly that "Congress shall make no law ...abridging the freedom of speech." The NFL is not Congress, nor is its Commissioner or any of its teams. It is totally within the league's rights to limit the players' statements to the public, assuming that is somehow covered in the collective bargaining agreement.

witchofwestghent Author Profile Page :

Other's, those oppose same sex marriage, are NEVER compelled to keep their view private. Why should a man who supports EVERYONE'S right to wed be compelled to keep them to himself? His IS the more enlightened position.

boblesch Author Profile Page :

the guy is a football player - that's his job.
why is this a big deal?'
the nfl would find themselves in a massive court case if they started sanctioning players who say things that are within their constitutional rights.

macsterling Author Profile Page :

I think every time a sports figure makes a comment athletes from other sports need to be given equal time. Long live the No Fun League!

Meepo Author Profile Page :

Why should the NFL care about what a player thinks about same-sex marriage? Lots of people, probably half the nation thinks same-sex marriage is fine.

Free speech issues might be at hand here, but conversely, think about the NFL: How much does the NFL gain by being in dictatorial control of its message? NFL copyrights are insane. Sure, they have a corps of designers that generate licensed goods that are at best tacky, and at worst look vomit awful. Just look at the way all the NFL head coaches are made to wear icky sweaters instead of a classy gray suit.

If I want to wear a hat that has the Redskins "R" on it, well, I can't. It doesn't exist, unless I wear my father's Roman Pro from circa the 1970s. Instead, I have to look for an array of headwear that looks like it succumbed to a ketchup/mustard explosion.

All that said, I have no issue with whatever an NFL player says, I have a big issue with an NFL message control dictate that resonates from the field to the fans.

cantorjj Author Profile Page :

Gays have no place in the NFL or in the mouth of our atheletic heros. Gladiators of ancient Rome became gay and it lead to the fall of there once great civilization. Liberal media wants us to think that this is some kind of crazy free speech issue. It is NOT!!! This issue here is about civilization as hole and the bigger picture. Athletes like this African Baltimore linebacker need to realize that and respect it. Free speech is matters but we must ultimately protect society against our enemies inside and outside.

mldickens Author Profile Page :

I feel compelled to reply.

CantorJJ, your comments are ignorant at best and racist at worst.

And when I click the "Report Offensive Comments" button, I get a bounceback on the e-mail!

WaPo, you wouldn't post this guy's garbage in your letters to the editor page. Why is it allowed here?

I look forward to reading more "the gays are destroying the world" nutjobbery.

langrehr Author Profile Page :

The GLADIATORS destroyed ancient Rome? And here I thought it was overstretching of the empire's boundaries, truly excessive military spending, incompetent emperors, religious conflicts, etc. Turns out that if a couple of male athletes boink each other in the dressing room, whole countries, nay empires, fall apart in disarray. Who knew that athletes had that much power.
Um, yeah. Please go read just a bit of the history of the great civilizations of the world, and then come back when you get a brain and a sense of perspective.

Personally, I think that people who spend their lives fussing because someone they don't even know chose a lover or a spouse they disapprove of are a far bigger threat to civilization than gay people could ever be. Nosy busybodies.

delOH Author Profile Page :

C'mon, next question. What, is Carolyn Hax doing this page now?

Catken1 Author Profile Page :

"What if a linebacker said, "I believe gay marriage is wrong and a sin against God." I think he would be sat on very quickly, possibly fined by Dictator Goodell, maybe even suspended."

Nonsense. He'd become a cause celebre, conservative talk show hosts and ministers would laud his high morality (because it's Oh So Moral to seek to hurt other people's families and children because you don't like the spouses they pick), and anything negative that happened to him Ever Again would be an example of Evil Liberal Discrimination. Even if he blatantly failed to show up for practices, regularly, and was fired for that, you all would whine about discrimination and how cruel we are to those moral, Godly people who just want to express their own religious beliefs (and, incidentally, also force them on others' private lives). Just like Carrie Prejean, who got fired for failing to do the job she contracted to do, but was instantly labeled a victim of discrimination for it.

MVoisinet Author Profile Page :

NFL Players have absolutely positively NO RIGHT AT ALL to engage in any kind of same sex relationships at all period. God instituted marriage between husband and wife and the procreation of children. And it shall not be violated in any way,shape,or form. If God would have intended for men to get married to other men he would have created Adam and Steve and not Adam and Eve. And women should NOT under any circumstances get married to other women. Same sex marriages totally desecrate both God and his Church. And they should be abolished effective immediately. In the Catholic Church if you engage in any kind of same sex relationship you are not allowed to receive The Sacraments. Homosexuality is considered a mortal sin. And you shall not receive The Sacraments when you are in the state of mortal sin. If you do,you are receiving them unworthily. And you most certainly are receiving them under false pretences. If you want to receive The Sacraments again you must go to Confession first and confess your sins to God. After you have received absolution from God then you will be deemed worthy to receive The Sacraments and not before. You must truly resolve not to commit the same sin over and over again. As the old saying goes:Actions do speak louder than words. Showing that you are truly sorry is much more important than the actual words used. Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominate sexual attraction towards persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. It's psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture,which present homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. The number of men and women who have deep seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination,which is objectively disordered constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect,compassion,and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and,if they are Christians to unite to the Sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtue of self mastery that teach them inner freedom,at times by the support of disinterested friendship,by prayer and sacramental grace,they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. Leviticus 18:22:You will not have intercourse with a man as you would with a woman. This is a hateful thing. What these same sex couples are doing is tarnishing the good name of the NFL and all of it's players. What these same sex couples need to do is to start attending Mass tomorrow morning and to start reflecting upon what they have done. Don't attend any Protestant Churches because there simply isn't any salvation for you in any of those churches.

trippin Author Profile Page :

"the nfl would find themselves in a massive court case if they started sanctioning players who say things that are within their constitutional rights."

The Constitution only guarantees freedom of speech with respect to GOVERNMENT intervention, and NOT a private employer.

The government can't tell you what not to say, but an employer certainly can. They do it all the time.

Don't believe me? Walk into the lunch room and tell your boss what a jerk he is in public with everyone else watching, and that your speech is protected by the Constitution. Or, address the head of the company by a derogatory slur and then tell her you were just kidding within the parameters of the Constitution. Or start organizing a union by just speaking with other workers about the idea while the managers look on.

On second thought, don't! I'm afraid that'd be a harsh introduction to the finer points of Constitutional law.

Catken1 Author Profile Page :

MVoisinet, you are confusing the laws of your narrow and hateful religion with the laws of the land. (I am NOT saying that all Catholics are not narrow and hateful. MVoisinet's version of Catholicism isn't the only one.)

Whatever you may think of it, people have the legal right to violate your purely religious laws as they please, just as you have the right to eat pork ribs and drink beer regardless of what your Jewish, Muslim and Mormon neighbors may think.

Personally, I find it a complete desecration to insult God as you do, by suggesting that there is no salvation for most of the world's population, that God will send people to eternal torture because their parents raised them in a non-Catholic faith, because every authority figure they loved and respected in their childhood told them that faith was true, and because they held to it despite some perfect strangers (or even friends) telling them they ought to be Catholic (while, of course, other perfect strangers are urging them towards other faiths with exactly as much credibility and evidence for their arguments). I think it's an insult to God to suggest that God finds breeding ability and genital balance to be more important to the definition of marriage than love, fidelity, and mental, emotional and spiritual communion. But I do not suggest that you ought to be barred from speaking because your free speech is sinful, disordered, and offensive to my faith and my Gods.

"Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided." Except, of course, that we ought to deny them access to romantic and sexual love, happy families, or legal protections for their spouses and kids. We'll be kind to them, we'll just take away quite a lot of what makes life worth living. Sure. How forbearing and generous you are.

And you have no business telling a perfect stranger that you know better than they what their feelings are, what they are called to do and be, what the worth of their marriage or family is to them, how compatible or not they are with their spouse, and whether or not their lives are whole and complete or "intrinsically disordered." Would you accept an attack on your family's right to exist, from a strict Protestant who viewed Catholicism as sinful and intrinsically disordered, and told you that God wanted you to live a lifestyle that you knew from personal experience to be profoundly uncomfortable, cold, unloving, and not suited to you at all?

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