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Brendon Ayanbadejo Pens 'USA Today' Column Calling for End to Homophobia in Pro Sports

Brendon Ayanbadejo pledged to bring his marriage equality advocacy with him to the Super Bowl, and now that he has won it, he's taking that ball and running with it.

He writes, in USA Today: Sb_ayanbadejo

There are many reasons why no gay athlete has come out in the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB, most of which are likely to go away with support and acceptance from the straight community. As leaders and even role models for millions of young people across the globe, professional athletes have the ability to fundamentally eliminate prejudice from our sport and live up to the incredible privilege we enjoy.

At its best, sports do not discriminate. If you are young or old, tall or short, male or female, gay or straight, all that really matters is how well you play and contribute to your team.

The NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA should and can be leaders against discrimination. Whether you're a commissioner, an athlete, a coach or a fan, your voice will let every kid out there know that there is a place for him or her in sports. We all can be ourselves and still compete with dignity and at the highest level.

This is our time and our cause. Everything we know as athletes, teammates, spokesmen and vehicles of American pastimes compels us toward the kind of action and camaraderie we saw from Pee Wee Reese nearly 66 years ago. It's as simple as putting our arm around the shoulder of another athlete. It's a gesture; it's a pledge; it's solidarity at its most basic. Our Jackie is coming. We need to pave the way.

(photo via instagram)

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Comments

  1. I hate football, but this guy is a true hero.

    Posted by: Petes | Feb 6, 2013 2:11:47 PM


  2. Love love love! Yay Brendon!

    Posted by: K | Feb 6, 2013 2:15:54 PM


  3. What an amazing human being and advocate Brendon is!

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 6, 2013 2:30:31 PM


  4. Can we nominate him for a Nobel Prize already?

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Feb 6, 2013 2:33:21 PM


  5. Great guy. And good looking.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Feb 6, 2013 2:38:37 PM


  6. Well done, Mr. Ayanbadejo! Thank you for keeping your promise to use your team's Super Bowl victory as a platform to promote acceptance.

    Posted by: RyanInWyo | Feb 6, 2013 2:42:39 PM


  7. The situation could not be teed up any better for a player to come out during the off season.

    Posted by: kirkyo | Feb 6, 2013 2:47:11 PM


  8. Who loves this guy? I do!

    Posted by: Donald | Feb 6, 2013 2:56:37 PM


  9. It is truly an amazingly different era when we have straight male allies like Brendon Ayanbadejo, Hudson Taylor, Chris Kluwe, Ben Cohen and Zach Wahls stnding up for GLBT folk. Never saw this happening this quickly but am oh so glad for the support!! WTG guys!

    Posted by: Dave in PA | Feb 6, 2013 3:03:02 PM


  10. Swoon!

    Posted by: AriesMatt | Feb 6, 2013 3:04:15 PM


  11. You're right, KIRKYO. I hope it happens.

    Posted by: K | Feb 6, 2013 3:25:04 PM


  12. Thank you. You're a great inspiration.

    Posted by: Patty | Feb 6, 2013 3:25:44 PM


  13. @Kirkyo,

    I think it would be more powerful during a season than during an off-season of a particular sport, as the media is paying attention then. With that said though, they can come out of the closet whenever they are ready.

    Posted by: Phoenix Justice | Feb 6, 2013 3:37:23 PM


  14. Brendon is a champion in so many ways, and a first class human being.

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 6, 2013 4:31:24 PM


  15. Brendon needs to seriously consider a job in politics (Democrat of course!) after he retires from football. He is a very intelligent, caring and articulate man - we need more of those in politics.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Feb 6, 2013 4:46:29 PM


  16. If I say he dings my gaydar is that wrong...

    Posted by: pedro | Feb 6, 2013 4:55:47 PM


  17. Airhead comment of the day (but I'm putting it out there anyway..)

    He's so good looking that I wish he WAS gay!

    :)

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Feb 6, 2013 5:30:30 PM


  18. And yet he supports Chris Christie

    Posted by: Shawn | Feb 6, 2013 8:56:37 PM


  19. OMG! Is it possible not to love this guy? Simply amazing and congratulations on your Super Bowl win!

    Posted by: Terry | Feb 6, 2013 10:31:09 PM


  20. Dude is awesome. My hero!

    Posted by: Pat | Feb 6, 2013 11:54:10 PM


  21. Thank you, Mr. Ayanbadejo.

    Posted by: Bill Michael | Feb 7, 2013 8:46:52 AM


  22. This guy is so obviously gay himself. He preaches and preaches but fails to live up to his own "standard".

    Posted by: LDC | Feb 7, 2013 9:01:12 AM



  23. LDC,

    if you can't control the mood swing brought on by a hangover then don't drink alcohol mid-week. Wait until Friday night. Then you can be as mean and evil as you want to be on Saturday and Sunday--nobody will care.

    Take it from a pro.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Feb 7, 2013 9:16:25 AM


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