Don’t be surprised to hear sports journalists discussing gay rights, marriage equality and bullying when the Baltimore Ravens face the San Francisco 49ers next weekend during Super Bowl XLVII. At least one player hopes to leverage his appearance at the big game into a platform for equality and social justice: Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo. The three-time Pro Bowler—who became an internet phenom several years ago due to a few strategic accessories—has emerged as one of professional sports’ most articulate supporters for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Ayanbadejo was a vocal advocate for the pro-equality side in the ultimately successful fight for marriage equality in Maryland. The thirty-six-year-old star player decided to take his campaign to the world’s most watched television event “only hours after his team” won the AFC Championship against the New England Patriots last weekend, wrote New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.
We applaud Brendon for his continued outspoken support for LGBT equality.