Keeping the NFL safe for straights

When we heard the news that Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist Jack Burkman intended to introduce a bill calling for a ban on gay players in the NFL, we had a little chuckle. Then there was his over-the-top statement, widely quoted, which said, "We are losing our decency as a nation. Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man.  That’s a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country.  What in the world has this nation come to?” (Too soon for a Penn State joke?)

We find it's surprising that somebody would look at the game of football, with its helmet hits and torn ligaments, and say that the orientation of players poses a threat to anybody. For the typical person who's more a fan of civil rights than the game of football, it's much more disturbing to watch men pile on top of a quarterback, or to see a player's unconscious body being hauled off the gridiron on a stretcher.

And, frankly, the game is just chock-full of simmering homoeroticism. When you see two guys double-teaming a tight end during a deep penetration, or a split end suffering through a painful elimination, or just all that dogging putting the defense in positions they don't usually find themselves in, it makes an old-fashioned butt-pat look demure.