By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com February 26 2014 12:07 PM ET
The lobbyist who boasted he could get lawmakers to support a law banning gay players in the NFL is losing clients over it. (And his gay brother is pretty annoyed about it, too.)
ThinkProgress reports that DC Solar Solutions, Inc., a California-based green energy company, has cut ties with lobbyist Jack Burkman, who had bragged that he could sign up six senators and 36 House members for the theoretical NFL ban.
"Since learning about his misguided efforts to write legislation banning gay athletes from the NFL, we have ended our relationship with him," the statement from DC Solar explained to ThinkProgress. "DC Solar values diversity within our company and within our communities, and we do not tolerate discrimination of any sort. As a company working to address issues about our country’s future, we have no intention of working with those who are stuck in the past."
The Hill reports that lobbying behemoth Holland & Knight took the unusual step of publicly distancing itself from Burkman, a former associate there who is now CEO of the firm Burkman Associates LLC.
“Holland & Knight is proud of its support of the LGBT community and we condemn Jack Burkman’s current efforts,” senior communications manager Linda G. Butler told The Hill in a statement.
But the most widely circulated condemnation of the idea came from Burkman's brother, Jim, who is gay. "I told him years ago he should back off on gay issues, and if he ever crosses the line I would be happy to speak up as his gay brother," Jim Burkman told The Huffington Post. "Today I felt he crossed the line.”
His language was much stronger in a tweet to Michael Sam, who could soon become the NFL's first openly gay player. "@Jack_Burkman is being an ass. I'm his brother, and I'm gay and stand with you."
See the tweet below:
Hey @MikeSamFootball. @Jack_Burkman is being an ass. http://t.co/xX84l12MUz I'm his brother, and I'm gay and stand with you.
— James Burkman (@jamesburkman) February 24, 2014