Md. official backs down in bid to muzzle NFL player

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Maryland official has backed down in his attempt to stifle an NFL player’s advocacy for gay marriage, The Baltimore Sun reports.

Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr., a Baltimore County Democrat, wrote a letter last month asking Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to order Brendon Ayanbadejo to “cease and desist” his support of gay rights, the newspaper said.

Burns, however, tempered his position yesterday.

“Upon reflection, [Ayanbadejo] has his First Amendment rights,” Burns told the newspaper in a telephone interview. “And I have my First Amendment rights. … Each of us has the right to speak our opinions. The football player and I have a right to speak our minds.”