Boycott launched against openly gay St Louis Rams player Michael Sam, by Christian lobbyist Jack Burkman
Michael Sam was drafted by the NFL team on Sunday, and celebrated by kissing his boyfriend live on TV
A powerful Christian lobbyist in the US has delivered on his threat to launch a nationwide boycott against any team or company which hires Michael Sam, after the NFL’s first openly gay player was drafted by the St Louis Rams on Sunday.
In a move which he said will teach companies a lesson for “trampling on Christian values”, Jack Burkman has also aimed his protest against financial giant Visa, who gave Mr Sam his first advertising contract.
A coalition of evangelical Christian leaders from across the US, as well as influential grassroots organisations in 27 of the 50 states, have now been mobilised against the firms, according to Mr Burkman.
As part of the protest, Rams fans will be told to stop buying the team’s merchandise and not to attend games, while members of the public will be asked stop using their Visa cards, and to sell any of the company's stocks they may own.
“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, head of the Washington DC lobbying firm JM Burkman & Assoc.
“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.”
As well as the boycott, Mr Burkman's firm is attempting to push a draft bill through Washington, which will ban all openly gay players from the NFL and other professional sports in the country.
Mr Burkman’s attack comes after the 24-year-old football player was praised for celebrating his acceptance call from Rams coach Jeff Fisher on Sunday evening by kissing his boyfriend live on sports channel ESPN.
Chat show host Ellen Degeneres tweeted: “So proud of the @STLouisRams for showing there's nothing to be afraid of. Congratulations, @MikeSamFootball”.
Speaking at a news conference held by the Rams after being drafted, Sam said: “I’ve been getting in shape and preparing for this moment for a very long time. I’m so determined to be great.”
When asked about potential detractors, Sam said: “It’s about football. Can I play football? Yes I can.”
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 3 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...
£16000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of Ford's leading Parts Who...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to learn ...