Michael Sam first openly gay NFL player: Christian lobby group of 'thousands' set to protest Dallas Cowboys latest signing
'We cannot just stand idly by as Christian values and morals are trampled,' American Decency leader Jack Burkman said in a statement
The Dallas Cowboys made history when they signed Michael Sam, the first openly gay National Football League player.
Little did they expect their efforts to encourage equality in sports to be met with news of a planned protest, organised by conservative lobbyists, which is set to see “thousands” of right-wing Christians descend upon Arlington, Texas on Sunday.
There, the Cowboys are set to play their first game of the season against the San Francisco 49ers.
Jack Burkman, who leads the campaign group American Decency, an organisation he says consists of "like-minded individuals who feel that they need to come together and feel like they need to stand up for the deterioration of decency in American sports," confirmed the plans.
In a press release from the group, Burkman stated: "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.
"[Dallas Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones has betrayed American values, Christian values, and his own city’s values. The people of Dallas–and Christians all across this land–are about to make him pay a huge financial price. The Cowboys are no longer America’s team."
Burkham is, of course, the same conservative lobbyist who proposed a bill that would ban gay players entirely from the NFL. He was unsuccessful. He also protested Sam's signing to the St Louis Rams earlier this year.
In a strange sporting twist, WWE invited Sam to make an appearance on its Monday Night Raw wrestling show.
In an open letter posted on WWE.com, the wrestling organisation said: "Exhibiting class and dignity rarely shown in professional sports, Michael Sam, WWE invites you to next Monday's Raw to speak of your struggles to succeed, lessons you have learned along the way, the courage it takes to be yourself and the prospects of your continued journey.
"You are a role model, who, by example, can encourage everyone to stand up and openly be themselves."
Sam is yet to respond to the offer.
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...
£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...