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Matt Birk writes column in opposition of gay marriage

Gay marriage has become a hot topic among some NFL players, and Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk is the latest to engage in the discussion.

The issue became publicized when a Maryland politician sent Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti a letter requesting that he prevent Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who supports gay marriage, from expressing his divisive political views. Vikings punter Chris Kluwe responded by writing a profane column published by Deadspin in support of Ayanbadejo and gay marriage.

Now Birk, a St. Paul native, wrote a column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune in opposition of gay marriage.

Birk, who graduated from Harvard in 1998, believes that NFL players should have the right to voice their opinion, but he wants society to promote specific marriage values.

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College linebacker Jamie Kuntz says he was kicked off team for kissing boyfriend

Jamie Kuntz used to play football at North Dakota State College of Sciences before he was seen kissing his boyfriend. The freshman linebacker says he was basically kicked off the team for being gay, although head coach Chuck Parsons says it was because he lied.

The 18-year-old Kuntz says he was in the press box with his 65-year-old boyfriend at a game against Show College in Colorado over Labor Day weekend. Kuntz was videotaping his team’s 63-17 blowout when he says the kiss “just happened.” A teammate supposedly saw the kiss and told the coach, but Kuntz lied and said the man was his grandfather.

“People around here aren’t exposed to it,” Kuntz explained. “People expect gays to be flamboyant, not football players. I lied.”

Kuntz says he later felt guilty about lying so he told the truth. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the dismissal letter sent by Parsons to Kuntz informing him that he had lost his partial scholarship as a result of “conduct deemed detrimental to the team” and for violating clearly stated team rules about lying to coaches, teachers or other school staff.

“I know if it was a girl in the press box, or even an older woman, nothing would have happened,” Kuntz said. “If it was an older woman, I would have probably been congratulated for it from my teammates.”

School officials are now looking into the case, and North Dakota State College of Science president John Richman says he believes it is being handled “fairly and consistently” by the athletic department.

Kuntz mother, Rita Kuntz, says Jamie told her he was gay at the same time he told her he had been kicked off the team. While she has accepted his sexuality and believes what the team did was wrong, she doesn’t agree with her son having a 65-year-old boyfriend and believes the older man is taking advantage of Jamie.

Photo via Jamie Kuntz’s Facebook page

Youth football player quits team after coach won’t let him wear pink gloves to support mother with breast cancer

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We have heard of strict uniform policies regarding colors and brands at the NFL level, but what about youth football? If a 12-year-old’s mother is battling breast cancer and he wants to wear pink gloves to support her cause, would anyone stand in his way? Unfortunately, it appears they would.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, Julian Connerton strapped on his pink gloves before his Egg Harbor City Crusaders were set to take on the Ocean City Junior Raiders on Saturday night, but was told he could not play if he wore them. That led to Julian’s decision to quit the team. Word of the incident has circulated around various social media sites, and Connerton’s aunt Sonia Cruz is hopeful the coach will come to his senses.

“The family is optimistic that the coach will apologize and that Julian will rejoin the team,” Cruz said.

Cruz also noted that the team invited Julian to participate in team pictures on Wednesday, and that the EHC Crusaders Facebook page said the team was looking forward to welcoming him back. One member of the Crusaders Youth Athletic League Association, Louis Barrios, said head coach Paul Burgan was unaware of Connerton’s reason for wanting to wear the pink gloves.

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Condoleezza Rice, Darla Moore become first female members at Augusta National

Augusta National has finally broken its gender barrier for club membership. The exclusive Georgia golf club invited Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore to become members when the club opens for a new season in October, and both women accepted.

The acceptance of female members ends a long-standing debate that raged in 2002 when Martha Burk of the National Council of Women’s Organizations demanded the club accept female members. That year the NCWO urged companies not to advertise on the Masters, and they urged CBS not to televise the tournament.

10 years after the issue came to the forefront in discussions, Augusta National has acted.

It’s pretty clear that Augusta National chairman Billy Payne (pictured) and the others in charge at the club succumbed to public pressure by extending invitations to women. As recently as April, Payne seemed unwilling to discuss the matter.

While I think that overall it’s better for people and organizations to be inclusive rather than exclusive, I’ve always felt that Augusta National had the right to limit membership to whomever they chose. If they didn’t want me in their club, then I wouldn’t want to play there anyhow. And if the women wanted to play golf at a beautiful, exclusive club, why not create one for themselves?

The inclusion of female members at Augusta National is probably a good step for gender equality, but we still shouldn’t lose sight of what the club is: a group that limits its membership to the most prominent and wealthy folks in the country. You think they let scrubs in there? You think they have Joe the Plumber playing rounds and hanging out in the locker room? Condoleezza Rice is one of the most distinguished women in the country. Moore is one of the richest. It may be open to female members now, but let’s not take this news to mean that Augusta National is suddenly open to everyone.

Justin Durant would eat Chick-fil-A even if it supported slavery

Some folks love their Chick-fil-A so much they wouldn’t let anything stop them from eating it. Take Lions linebacker Justin Durant for example. The former second-round pick said on Twitter he’d still eat Chick-fil-A even if the restaurant’s owners supported slavery.

Durant began the Chick-fil-A conversation on Wednesday by asking his Twitter followers what the situation was with the restaurant:

Once he learned that Chick-fil-A’s CEO spoke out against gay marriage, he started saying that wouldn’t keep him from enjoying the restaurant’s food:

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Golfer Stewart Cink supports Chick-fil-A

For those of you who haven’t followed, the fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A has come under fire in recent week’s after the chain’s president Dan Kathy spoke out against gay marriage. On Wednesday, Chick-fil-A held an “Appreciation Day” and posted “record-setting” sales numbers according to executive vice president of marketing Steve Robinson. It’s evident that the company still has a lot of supporters who feel that Kathy has the right to speak his mind regardless of how controversial his opinions may be. One of those supporters is PGA golfer Stewart Cink.

As expected, Cink received a barrage of replies and retweets, most of which bashed him for supporting a company president that openly discriminates against the gay community. Like Cink, many people feel as though Chick-fil-A still serves “darn good chicken” and that the opinions of its president don’t reflect the company. As Roddy White could tell Cink, it’s never a good idea for professional athletes to send tweets that can be interpreted as anti-gay remarks.

H/T Sports by Brooks Live

Bill O’Brien: ‘Hell no!’ he wouldn’t recruit the Penn State players (Video)

When Lane Kiffin shamelessly began recruiting former Penn State running back Silas Redd, who eventually transferred to USC, most people said that that is something all college football coaches would do. Not Bill O’Brien, man of morals that he is.

The current Penn State football coach, who took the job while the school was being investigated for potentially covering up the actions of pedophile Jerry Sandusky, says he’s above such reprehensible conduct (comments at the 7:00 mark in the video above).

“Hell no!” O’Brien said. “That’s not the right thing to do in my opinion. So I wouldn’t do that.

“I’m not fighting for my career, I’m fighting for Penn State,” O’Brien said. “For what’s right about this football program and so at the end of the day, like I said, these coaches are playing by the rules. That’s what they’re doing.”

I love the way that O’Brien is trying to make himself into a martyr who is leading Penn State football through its “dark ages” where they feel they must stick together to persevere. This man willingly accepted a job at a school he knew was going to be punished. He didn’t care about the culture of covering up child rapes to protect the program that exists/existed at Penn State; he just cared about taking over a program with a winning tradition. In many ways what he has done is much worse than any coaches poaching his players who, by the way, are free to transfer elsewhere.

Helmet smack to Dr. Saturday