Brendon Ayanbadejo | Gay Marriage | Maryland | News

Brendon Ayanbadejo: Raiders 'Congratulated Me' on Maryland Marriage Equality Win

Baltimore Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo tells TMZ that several players on his team made note of his advocacy for marriage equality and went out of their way to congratulate him after last week's election:

AyanbadejoBrendon tells us, "Three Raiders congratulated me on working with and for marriage equality. I remember their names but I will keep that to myself."

He adds, "Ethnicity-wise, it was two white guys and one black guy. Ethnicity plays an important part in this movement."

(FYI -- the Raiders got their asses kicked 55-20)

Brendon -- who's heterosexual -- has been an outspoken gay rights advocate for years (which is pretty rare in the NFL) and now says he's taking the battle for marriage equality back to his native California.

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  1. why is the score of a never-mentioned game pertinent to this story? am i missing something?

    Posted by: kyle | Nov 13, 2012 9:21:52 AM

  2. God bless you Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo and more power to the Baltimore Ravens!!!

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Nov 13, 2012 9:23:35 AM

  3. A real man.
    A leader.

    did't get the Raiders part...

    Posted by: t | Nov 13, 2012 9:25:20 AM

  4. EQUALITY for everyone is guaranteed by the Constitution.

    Posted by: JESS Kalinowsky | Nov 13, 2012 9:30:48 AM

  5. EQUALITY for everyone is guaranteed by the Constitution.

    Posted by: JESS Kalinowsky | Nov 13, 2012 9:30:50 AM

  6. Thanks for being an ally to the LGBT community, Brendon!

    Posted by: Ty | Nov 13, 2012 9:36:10 AM

  7. If Ayanbadejo is hesitant about even naming other NFL players who offered him congratulations and support for his advocacy of equality, that just goes to show what a long way there still is to go in that organization. If players are still terrified to even voice support for something that won at the ballot box in four states last week, no one is ever going to actually come out of the closet. What an awful environment to have to work in...I can't imagine being frightened to even openly offer congratulations to a co-worker.

    Posted by: Jere | Nov 13, 2012 9:58:42 AM

  8. time to get brandon on the cover of out, for two reasons, one because he was one of, if not the, first to speak out for equality, and two, ahumunahumuna, the boy is BUILT!

    Posted by: bandanajack | Nov 13, 2012 10:03:30 AM

  9. time to get brandon on the cover of out, for two reasons, one because he was one of, if not the, first to speak out for equality, and two, ahumunahumuna, the boy is BUILT!

    Posted by: bandanajack | Nov 13, 2012 10:03:32 AM

  10. Built like a roid freak...

    Posted by: mike | Nov 13, 2012 10:50:04 AM

  11. For those asking why Raiders and a game score are relevant, Brandon plays for the Baltimore Ravens who hosted the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. The game was extraordinary in that the Ravens scored more points and won by a greater margin than they ever had in the past. The point is that despite having just destroyed their team, players made a point of congratulating Brandon on his off field accomplishments.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Nov 13, 2012 11:02:26 AM

  12. Crap. Chose to use his first name because it would be easier to type than his last name and still got it wrong. Brendon, not Brandon.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Nov 13, 2012 11:10:43 AM

  13. Yes, there's the score of the game AND the fact that these are the Oakland Raiders...

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Nov 13, 2012 11:38:15 AM

  14. Uh, Towleroad mistakenly asserts that Brendon's team is the Oakload Raiders, when in fact, it was the opposing team on Sunday. Brendon is a LB who plays for the Baltimore Ravens, who stomped the Raiders on Sunday.

    Posted by: Javier | Nov 13, 2012 11:42:29 AM

  15. Javier, that's how it seems at first because that's what he said. Read the entire clip.

    He likely mentioned the Raiders because a team from the Bay Area would be more likely to thank him than his own, from Baltimore.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 13, 2012 12:05:25 PM

  16. @KYLE: It was mentioned because Mr. Ayanbadeno plays for the Ravens and the Ravens whipped the sh*t out of the Raiders.

    @JAVIER: Here's part of the lead paragraph repeated for you: "Baltimore Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo...." Seems pretty clear to me. I think the confusion comes from Mr. Ayanbadejo stating that several players from his own team congratulated him as well as three unidentified Oakland Raider team members. The piece probably could have used a little editing for better clarification.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Nov 13, 2012 12:09:45 PM

  17. He and Chris Kluwe are great people. If all straight men were this comfortable with their own sexuality the world would be a better place.

    We are VERY lucky to have such brave guys on our side. The tide is turning in our favor ...

    Posted by: Icebloo | Nov 13, 2012 5:57:16 PM

  18. @PAUL @JAMAL49 - The confusion is coming from the first line of the Towleroad commentary about the TMZ article, which incorrectly states that Ayanbadejo received comments from "his team," which is not what the TMZ article actually says, as @JAVIER notes.

    Posted by: John | Nov 13, 2012 5:57:32 PM

  19. Interesting to note that in MD all of the ethnically diverse counties (including the only majority African American county) voted for marriage equality. All of the least ethnically diverse (overwhelmingly white) counties voted no on the amendment. Baltimore City residents also voted for marriage equality.

    Go Brendon! Love our Ravens!

    Posted by: Abby | Nov 13, 2012 10:48:27 PM

  20. @Jere: He didn't actually say that anyone asked him to withhold their names. It could well be that he just doesn't think it 's his business to turn someone else's name into news. I can understsnd that, just as when I'm asked for a friend or colleague's phone number or e-mail address, I don't usually give it out.
    I was annoyed once when a journalist friend had coffee with me and asked my political opinions and then quoted numerous parts of our conversation all over an article without ever having mentioned to me that our conversation was going to be public. It's just not good form to turn private conversations betwen friends into news stories that way.

    Posted by: GregV | Nov 14, 2012 12:15:09 AM

  21. Well you have to allow for the possibility that the players who expressed appreciation were basically saying so because they are gay. They may be closeted and out to him only because he is on their side. When you're in a hypermasculine industry where people fight, tear each other down and intimidate each other, talk trash and distract each other for competitive advantage, it must feel great to have an ally. I know if I were a gay player I would thank him. (In the shower, perhaps.)

    Posted by: Rob | Nov 14, 2012 3:45:09 AM

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