Ravens football player Brendon Ayanbadejo to use Super Bowl to talk about gay marriage

I’m a Baltimore native, but still never warmed up to the Ravens because of Art Model. When I went to school in Ohio, I used to drive up to Cleveland to see the Browns in the old stadium along the lake. What Model did to Cleveland was despicable, so I never cared about how much his teams in Baltimore won. That said, how do you not like Baltimore Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo?

In a macho sport where somehow there are no gay football players (what are the odds?), Ayanbadejo is one of the few voices of reason. He plans to use the media attention during the buildup to the Super Bowl to talk about gay marriage across the US.  This reminds me of the story John posted a few months ago about Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe quote vocally speaking out in favor of gay marriage as well. It’s nice when straight people have gay people’s back, especially in sports.

Comcast Sportsnet (Warning – auto play video with sound because Comcast is too stupid to know people hate that):

“Organically, it was going to happen anyway,” said Ayanbadejo a linebacker and key special-teams player in his 10th season, of the inevitable questions to come after his vocal support for upholding a marriage equality law in Maryland in November.

“There (are) still 47 or so states that don’t have it passed. It needs to be passed federally. Why not be the person to carry that message not only to the United States but to the rest of the world? I have this huge platform. The whole world is watching.

“It’s a message of positivity. It’s a message of equality. And it’s a chance to get it out. It’s not going to affect the way I play football but its going to affect a lot of people’s lives off the field.”

After the Super Bowl, Ayanbadejo will be teaming up with Russell Simmons to do more. This does make it trickier to pick a team to root for because I was already siding with the 49ers, because Jim Harbaugh is such a great coach. It pains me to like a former Michigan guy but ever since he left that dump called Ann Arbor, he’s been great.

Progress with equality has been slow in pro sports, but thankfully it’s coming around thanks to a few people who aren’t afraid to say what’s right.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrEqIpi6sg Moderator4

    He was deleted and banned, unclemike.

  • Skycat

    There’s also Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets who is actually a child of a same sex union:

    http://tracking.si.com/2013/01/27/kenneth-faried-supports-gay-civil-unions/

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I think you’d call this performance art.

  • unclemike

    Gays neither want nor need your sympathy, asshole. All they want is equality.

    Go make posts against catholic priests if you really want to protect children.

  • sherman

    I was angry for a long time, but came to think Art was in a no-win situation. He didn’t have the wealth of other owners and the economics of the game were changing. The city built a new stadium to keep the Indians, but did nothing for the much more popular Browns. He negotiated TV contracts that were very much part of what made the NFL so successful, and deserves a spot in the HoF. I also give him credit for leaving the Browns name and records in Cleveland.

    It’s nice that for the third year in a row, the SB has 2 blue teams. Maybe in the near future the Browns will make it to the big game, with an out star player.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1172408194 Bill Weather

    I have no sympathy for gays. They have an agenda to make children gay….the perverts! I and many other americans will only boo Ayanbedajo and his immorality they are trying to make acceptable…..

  • cole3244

    kluwe & ayanbedajo are very courageous to be doing this when members of the nfl, i imagine they must be getting some push back from teammates and it takes intestinal fortitude to take this stand, i salute both of you and hope public service is in your future.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Remember, the Chris Kluwe story is directly related to Ayanbadejo — Kluwe wrote one of his most-circulated pieces in response to a Maryland politician’s attempted smackdown of Ayanbadejo after the latter voiced his public support for gay marriage.

    Ravens players Ayanbadejo and Ray Lewis, the guy who shows leadership by yelling and screaming a lot at millionaire teammates but doesn’t show it when his friends are stabbing guys to death in dark parking lots, basically cancel each other out. Root for Ayanbadejo, but root for the 9ers.

  • AdmNaismith

    It’s people like Ayanbedajo, Kluwe and Jon Stewart who have stepped up and become at least minor heroes in the fight for marriage equality. They don’t have to do this, they largely don’t have a dog in this race. Yet they use their hard earned media currency on our behalf and for that I say Thank You for being decent and kind and generous on our behalf.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bj.lincoln Bj Lincoln

    I was born and raised in Canton, Ohio. Home to the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
    As such I was a Browies fan. It was a very sad day when they left.
    5 years ago my wife and I escaped Ohio to Baltimore, Maryland where they are CRAZY about the Ravens.
    I too struggled with loyalities. I am now a Ravens fan after 5 years of Purple Fridays and crazy fans.
    PS. Before I left Canton, Art’s name came up as a candidate for the HOF and the city screamed NO.
    Now that he is gone, maybe in another 20 years his name may come up again.

  • caphilldcne

    Go Blue, But yeah, rooting for Ayenbadejo and the Ravens.

  • UncleBucky

    Oh, I think there’s gay or bi people in college sports. But they have to take stress pills, eh? ;o)

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