Just like he promised, Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadeo is using his new fame from winning the freaking Super Bowl to help push for marriage equality. The day after the big win, Ayanbadeo joined Respect for Marriage Coalition’s new #Time4Marriage campaign, and had an op-ed piece in USA Today. Here’s a snippet of it:
“There are many reasons why no gay athlete has come out in the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB, most of which are likely to go away with support and acceptance from the straight community. As leaders and even role models for millions of young people across the globe, professional athletes have the ability to fundamentally eliminate prejudice from our sport and live up to the incredible privilege we enjoy.
At its best, sports do not discriminate. If you are young or old, tall or short, male or female, gay or straight, all that really matters is how well you play and contribute to your team.
The NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA should and can be leaders against discrimination. Whether you’re a commissioner, an athlete, a coach or a fan, your voice will let every kid out there know that there is a place for him or her in sports. We all can be ourselves and still compete with dignity and at the highest level.
This is our time and our cause. Everything we know as athletes, teammates, spokesmen and vehicles of American pastimes compels us toward the kind of action and camaraderie we saw from Pee Wee Reese nearly 66 years ago. It’s as simple as putting our arm around the shoulder of another athlete. It’s a gesture; it’s a pledge; it’s solidarity at its most basic. Our Jackie is coming. We need to pave the way.”
You can read the rest of his op-ed here. Now here’s the video I promised.
Thanks for all your work Brendon, and please keep it up!