Washington lobbyist Jack Burkman, who recently announced he would introduce legislation to ban gay athletes from playing professional football, was fired by a client over his comments, Think Progress reported on Wednesday.
California-based renewable energy company DC Solar Solutions, Inc. released a statement on Tuesday saying it “does not condone or support Mr. Burkman’s homophobic views, and since learning about his misguided efforts to write legislation banning gay athletes from the NFL, we have ended our relationship with him.”
Burkman, whose firm, J M Burkman & Associates, signed 70 new clients last year, said in a statement on Monday that his company would prepare the legislation out of fear of “losing our decency as a nation.” College football standout Michael Sam is in a position to be drafted into the National Football League this year, making him the first gay player in the league’s history to announce his sexuality during his playing career.
“Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man,” he wrote. “That’s a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?”
His statements were quickly criticized by his brother Dr. Jim Burkman, who is gay, and accused the lobbyist of using the proposed bill as a way to drum up attention for his firm.
“He is not a legislator and he can’t really push legislation,” Jim Burkman was quoted as saying. “I don’t think there are any cosponsors for a bill. It is just an attention grab and a media grab to pander to those folks who pay him to lobby on their behalf.”
Salon reported that Jack Burkman had emphasized “PR” with this effort, and quoted him as saying, “Of all the discussions that we’ve had, the legal end has been the last.”
[Image via Michael Sam Facebook page]