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:

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)