Washington lobbyist Jack Burkman on Monday said he is preparing legislation that would ban gay athletes from joining the National Football League.
Burkman in a statement said he has garnered political support for the bill, though his statement didn’t mention any specific lawmakers who are behind it.
Burkman said he came up with the idea after college football star Michael Sam publicly revealed he is gay a few weeks ago. If drafted, Sam would be the first openly gay player in the NFL.
Jason Collins on Sunday became the first openly gay athlete to play for a major men's professional sports team when he suited up for the NBA's Brooklyn Nets against the Los Angeles Lakers.
A number of Democratic lawmakers voiced their support of Sam after he revealed his sexual orientation in an interview with ESPN, and first lady Michelle Obama hailed him as an "inspiration."
Burkman was not available to speak with The Hill but urged Congress to act in his statement.
“If the NFL has no morals and no values, then Congress must find values for it,” Burkman said.
Burkman serves as founder and president of his own lobbying firm, Burkman Associates. He has also worked as of counsel at law firm Holland & Knight. In the 1990s, he served as counsel to then-Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.).
In a statement to The Hill Tuesday, Holland & Knight said it "is proud of its support of the LGBT community and we condemn Jack Burkman's current efforts. Mr. Burkman's employment with Holland & Knight ended almost 12 years ago. He was a lawyer in our Washington office from October 1998 to May 2002."
Burkman's firm, JM Burkman & Associates, signed 70 new clients last year, the most of any K Street firm, a recent review by The Hill found.
The four-lobbyist firm specializes in helping companies secure contracts with the federal government.