NFL commissioner Robert Goodell weighed in on a recent controversy involving a Maryland state legislator who sent a letter to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens that called upon him to silence linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who supports same-sex marriage. "I think in this day and age, people are going to speak up about what they think is important. They speak as individuals and I think that’s an important part of democracy," Goodell answered diplomatically.
Reporting on the story, Politico's Kevin Cirilli gave readers the background that State Delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr. played in the controversy, but avoided mentioning Burns's party affiliation in both occasions when he referenced Burns, an African-American Democrat and Baptist minister:
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday defended Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, whose public support for gay marriage prompted a Maryland state lawmaker to write a letter to the team’s owner asking him to silence his player.
Maryland Assembly Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. sent a letter last week to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti asking that he force Ayanbadejo to “inhibit such expressions” in support of gay marriage.
Related item from September 10: Broadcast Networks Ignore Democratic Legislator's Attempt to Silence Ravens Linebacker Who Spoke Out for Same-Sex Marriage