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.