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Players' Support of Marriage Equality Alters N.F.L. Image

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The New York Times
|
September 9, 2012
Issues: 

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has been a consistent supporter of marriage equality. In 2011, he filmed his own video backing this November’s ballot initiative in Maryland and posted it on YouTube, and he recently donated Ravens tickets to a Marylanders for Marriage Equality fund-raiser.

Ayanbadejo’s acts caught the attention of Emmett C. Burns Jr., a Maryland state delegate who opposes marriage for same-sex couples. On Aug. 29, Burns sent a letter to Steve Bisciotti, the Ravens’ owner, urging him to “inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions.”

Burns’s letter elicited an aggressive, searing response from another N.F.L. player, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who said he could not sleep after reading the letter Thursday night because he was too infuriated. So he wrote a profanity-laced response to Burns and submitted it to Deadspin.com.