Hailing from Baltimore, I always root for the Baltimore Ravens
when it comes to football. So it was particularly exciting to see that Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo
is for marriage equality!
It’s hard to find allies in the sporting world who will publicly speak out for the LGBT community. It’s not to say there aren’t plenty of straight allies who have LGBT friends and family members. However, outside pressures (from agents, sponsors, teammates, etc.) often keep support limited or muted.
But there are always individuals impervious to outside pressures.
The Baltimore Sun
highlighted Ayanbadejo’s desire to do good for others. In college he co-founded an organization to help elementary school children. He protested against the UCLA administration for the declining number of African-Americans accepted for enrollment who weren't athletes. And in April he wrote an op-ed for the Huffington Post
regarding marriage equality:
“If Britney Spears can party it up in Vegas with one of her boys and go get married on a whim and annul her marriage the next day, why can't a loving same sex couple tie the knot? How could our society grant more rights to a heterosexual one night stand wedding in Vegas than a gay couple that has been together for 3, 5, 10 years of true love?”
In closing he wrote:
“I think we will look back in 10, 20, 30 years and be amazed that gays and lesbians did not have the same rights as every one else. How did this ever happen in the land of the free and the home of the brave? Are we really free?”
Here's to Ayanbadejo and others like him (Charles Barkley, Steve Young, etc) who are speaking out in support of the LGBT community. Let's hope others in the locker room take his cue and follow suit.