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.


  1. Jere says

    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.

  2. bandanajack says

    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!

  3. bandanajack says

    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!

  4. Jonathan says

    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.

  5. Jonathan says

    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.

  6. Javier says

    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.

  7. Paul R says

    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.

  8. jamal49 says

    @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.

  9. Icebloo says

    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 …

  10. John says

    @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.

  11. Abby says

    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!

  12. GregV says

    @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.

  13. Rob says

    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.)