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After Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo spoke out in favor of Maryland's marriage equality ballot initiative, state legislator Emmett Burns Jr. didn't tell Ayanbadejo to shut up. No, Burns told Ayanbadejo's boss, team owner Steve Bisciotti, to shut him up, writing, "I am requesting that you take the necessary action ... to inhibit such expressions from your employee." Because, after all, "I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing."

Maybe Burns should have done a little more research into what NFL players have had to say on the subject of marriage equality, because he has drawn a hilarious, bruising response from Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who, it's safe to say, has not been adhering to the silence Burns thinks appropriate. Kluwe's letter is filled with too much genius to entirely capture here, but for starters:

"Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and excitement." Holy fucking shitballs. Did you seriously just say that, as someone who's "deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland"? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you're going to say that political views have "no place in a sport"? [...]

I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won't even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population—rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?

You kind of have to hope Burns comes back with a letter to the owner of the Vikings, just for the entertainment value.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 01:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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