DALLAS — The Republican lobbyist behind the campaign to ban openly gay football players from joining the NFL, says thousands of right-wing Christians will demonstrate Sunday at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to protest the Dallas Cowboys signing Michael Sam to its practice squad.
“We had planned to protest in St. Louis on Sunday. Now we’ll rally in Dallas instead,” said Jack Burkman, who heads the group American (Sports) Decency. “We cannot just stand idly by as Christian values and morals are trampled. We will do whatever we can to preserve family values in this country.”
Burkman claims his group has 3.62 million members in 41 states, including 933,912 people in Texas. His website boasts: “Of 3.62 million nationally, 2.21 million are ready to protest or do whatever they are asked to do.” His website-linked Facebook page, however, has only 135 followers.
Burkman is the D.C.-based lobbyist who earlier this year authored proposed federal legislation to make it illegal for “self-declared homosexual football players” to join an NFL team unless it “provides facilities for homosexual players which are entirely separate and distinct from the facilities used by heterosexual players.”
Under his proposal, violators would face a fine between $3 million and $8 million. At the time, Burkman claimed to have the support of at least six members of the U.S. House and one U.S. Senator, but refused to name them, and none have come forward publicly to announce their support.
Update: Monday, Sept. 8, 2014:
Burkman’s planned massive protest never materialized. On Monday, he issued a statement saying the event was cancelled after he received death threats on Saturday and Sunday. He gave no explanation on how he was able to contact his millions of members to cancel the protest in such a short timeframe. Critics called Burkman’s “protest” a publicity stunt to drive interest in his failed lobbying business.