NFL players Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings and Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens are opponents on the field but came together for equality at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on Saturday.
Check out their remarks below:
"Our openly gay player is going to show up and play baseball or football, of course any day now, and when he does he'll know guys like myself and Chris Kluwe will definitely have his back," said Brendon Ayanbadejo. "With GLAAD's help we're going to win the fight and respect for equality, and you know why? Because love conquers all and positivity always wins."
In the video, the athletes also note that major league sports went purple for Spirit Day in support of LGBT youth, including the NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS, NASCAR Diversity, NHL, USA Track & Field and WWE.
GLAAD has been working with professional sports teams and leagues to address the persistent problem of homophobia in the game and on the stands by encouraging media outlets to report on these issues. GLAAD also amplifies the voices of athletes who have come out and elevates, in the media, the message of allies on the field.
Brendon Ayanbadejo spoke out in favor of marriage equality last year, encouraging voters in Maryland to bring marriage for gay and lesbian couples to the state during the last election. Maryland State Delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr. asked Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to silence him, leading Chris Kluwe to come to Ayanbadejo's defense in an open letter on the sports website Deadspin.
For a complete list of GLAAD Media Awards winners, click here.
Ayanbadejo and Kluwe joined hosts Lara Spencer, Josh Elliott and Sam Champion (Good Morning America); Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters); Borle, Andy Mientus, Krysta Rodriguez (Smash); Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey); Jenni "JWOWW" Farley, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi (The Jersey Shore, Snooki & JWoww); Annie Clark, Cristine Prosperi (Degrassi); Straight But Not Narrow founder Avan Jogia; Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil); David France, Peter Staley (How to Survive a Plague); John Leguizamo (Ice Age, Moulin Rouge); Laverne Cox (Musical Chairs); GLAAD's Strategic Giving Officer Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life); producing dream team Neil Meron and Craig Zadan and others at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York, which helps fund GLAAD's work to amplify stories from the LGBT community that build support for equality.
The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards series will continue in Los Angeles on April 20, 2013, and later in San Francisco on May 11, 2013. For a complete list of nominees, special guests and ticket information, click here.
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives.
The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were presented nationally by Ketel One and Wells Fargo, and presented locally in New York by Delta Air Lines.