A Washington, D.C .lobbyist who previously announced plans to prepare legislation that would ban gay athletes from playing in the National Football League (NFL) has called for a boycott of the St. Louis Rams and credit card company Visa over their affiliation with the openly gay Michael Sam.
Sam, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, was drafted in the seventh round by the Rams and recently signed an endorsement deal with Visa.
Jack Burkman, head of the lobbying firm JM Burkman & Assoc., said the NFL team and VISA are “trampling on Christian values” by allying themselves with Sam, according to The Independent.
“Visa and the Rams will learn that when you trample the Christian community and Christian values, there will be a terrible financial price to pay,” said Burkman. “Openly gay football players send a terrible message to our youth about morality. Somebody needs to step up because the moral fiber of the nation is eroding.”
According to Burkman, a coalition of evangelical Christian leaders and grassroots organizations in 27 states, have been mobilized against the Rams and VISA. Burkman is calling on Rams fans to stop buying team merchandise and to boycott games, while asking members of the public to stop using their Visa cards, and to sell any of the company’s stocks they may own.
Following Burkman’s previous press release announcing plans for the anti-gay legislation, his brother, an openly gay anesthesiologist living in Seattle, denounced the plans and claimed that his brother was using the publicity to troll for prospective clients.
Instead Burkman lost business when DC Solar Solutions, Inc., a California-based energy company, cut ties with him calling his efforts to institute a ban on gay athletes, “misguided.”
Burkman, who has represented the Christian-based Family Research Council in the past, was in the news in 2006 after his name with phone number was found in the DC Madam’s phone list.
Currently, Michael Sam’s jersey is an NFL best seller and Visa, undaunted by the threat of a boycott, has released a Sam commercial.
Michael Sam VISA commercial below: