On April 3 the National Organization's Ruth Institute announced that it would be auctioning off some Chicago Bears memorabilia at their upcoming anti-gay "gala." The anti-gay hate group claimed that the items had been donated by "the Chicago Bears organization" and they thanked the Bears for "supporting our message." (Their message? "LGBT people [are] sinners, pedophiles, and sexual deviants," as Media Matters pointed out. The head of the Ruth Institute recently warned young people about the dangers of having gay friends.) Chicago Fan sent the Bears a letter earlier today asking for clarification and posted it to Slog.
We have a response. Right now the Chicago Bears are tweeting this out to everyone who's asked if they support NOM's hateful message:
@fakedansavage Items were personal donations; not from club. They don’t represent team view on any social issues. Any other remarks R false.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 3, 2013
The Chicago Tribune has more details:
The Chicago Bears and linebacker Brian Urlacher denied any involvement Wednesday with the Ruth Institute—an arm of the National Organization For Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage—after being tied to the group in an online promotion.... "I sign a lot of stuff for charity and I don't always know where it goes," Urlacher told the Tribune. "If I would have known it was for this cause, I wouldn't have done it." Jarrett Payton, Walter's son, had no comment when reached by Tribune.
In a statement, the Bears said, "The two items featured in The Ruth Institute gala invitation were personal donations to Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse. Neither was a club donation, nor do they represent the team’s view on any social issues. Any remarks stating otherwise are false.”
Reached by phone Wednesday afternoon, Morse initially declined comment. But the website later dropped all images and references to the Bears at the team's request, and Morse issued a statement: "The Ruth Institute is not working with the Chicago Bears organization or any of its players past or present to promote our upcoming auction. The memorabilia we are auctioning off was acquired by me personally, not through the team or players. We understand that the Chicago Bears organization takes no position on social issues, and we regret any confusion we may have caused on this point."
So: the lying liars at NOM/Ruth got caught in another lie. That barely counts as news. But I am curious to know who "personally" donated the items Morse. Did they know what she intended to do with them? And now that Morse has been caught misrepresenting the donations and making false claims about the Chicago Bears supporting "our message," will the person or persons who donated the items demand that they be returned?