It's Not 'Rocky,' but ... I've decided to become a bare knuckles boxing promoter.
The first fight I want to stage is between Washington lobbyist Jack Burkman and former University of Missouri linebacker Michael Sam.
Would you pay to see that bout? Maybe, if you knew why I want to set up this match.
In one of the sleaziest publicity stunts I've seen in my 30-plus year PR career, Burkman made a brief splash the other day by claiming he was writing legislation that would ban gays from playing in the National Football League, a travesty aimed at putting his two-bit D.C. lobbying firm on the map.
The 6'-2", 256-pound Sam told his Tiger teammates he was gay before the start of Mizzou's improbable run to the SEC championship game and a Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma State.
After the season was over, Sam publicly came out. He is expected to be drafted in the third or fourth round by an NFL team.
"We are losing our decency as a nation,” Burkman said in the wake of Sam's announcement. "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?”
You know what would be a more horrifying prospect, Jack? Michael Sam coming at you to duke it out.
“If the NFL has no morals and no values, then Congress must find values for it,” declared the morally outraged Burkman whose name showed up on DC Madam's data base in 2006.
The Atlantic Wire's Philip Bump nailed this shameless chump: "The (Burkman) firm did less than $2 million in business in this Congress, through the first three quarters of 2013. And Burkman isn't just a lobbyist. He's also a heavy-hitter with 21 followers on Twitter, a 'radio show' that appears to be nothing more than a podcast, and a pronounced issue with gay people."
That last is beyond bizarre considering Burkman's brother is gay.
"I think the idea that he is pushing legislation that is just hurtful and ridiculous is just plain stupid. He is not a legislator and he can't really push legislation," said Dr. Jim Burkman of Seattle. "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. Today I felt he crossed the line."
So you see, my proposed bare knuckles fight is fraught with intrigue and drama.
In this corner, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Michael Sam!
In that corner, homophobic lobbyist trying to make a name for himself by cashing in on Sam's story, Jack Burkman!
Hopefully Dr. Jim will be waiting in Jack's corner to patch up the chastened lobbyist.
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Kevin Foley owns KEF Media Associates, Inc., an Atlanta-based producer and distributor of electronic publicity. He can be reached at email@example.com.