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Brendon Ayanbadejo: NFL Prospects 'Need to Say That They're Straight' to Get Good Chance at Draft - VIDEO


Baltimore Raven linebaker Brendon Ayanbadejo appeared on The Ed Show last night to comment on recent reports from players (like Nick Kasa, below) that prospective NFL recruits are being asked about their sexual orientation.

KasaAyanbadejo suggested that because of engrained homophobia within the NFL, players unfortunately need to say that they're heterosexual or risk their chances in the draft.

Said Ayanbadejo:

"Teams are really fickle, there’s all kinds of things they want to know. A lot of teams really want to talk to you, get a feel for your personality, see what you’re like. If you give the wrong answers, that could be the difference between going to that team in the first round and slipping to another in the draft...Selfishly, I think players need to say that they’re straight right now. You need to get drafted as high as you can get drafted, get the money while you can … The way things are going right now with the bigotry that still exists and discrimination that still exists within the locker room and sports arena in general, I think you need to say, ‘Hey, I’m straight, I love women’, and keep things so-called normal. Maybe later, once you’ve established yourself and when we break down some of these walls in the NFL, players will be more comfortable to be who they are."


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  1. That sounds like good advice from a friend.

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 28, 2013 11:59:05 AM

  2. Let's not pretend that homophobia has been stamped out in America. In our society the effeminate gay male stereotypes are still pervasive and constantly being pushed. In the culture we live in today, if a guy isn't salivating at the idea of screwing any girl with a pulse his sexuality is immediately suspect.

    Posted by: Kenny | Feb 28, 2013 12:12:12 PM

  3. No one should be watching pro football.

    Posted by: ArkArk | Feb 28, 2013 12:18:18 PM

  4. What Ayanbadejo says (sadly) makes sence. It is the world those players need to work and make money. It is sad, but the reality. I like this guy, he has spent time thinking of this and is also handsome.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Feb 28, 2013 12:20:39 PM

  5. I'll just point out that even if you get a shot at a professional football career, you're almost certainly much better off turning it down.

    According to Sports Illustrated, approximately two years after retirement, 78 percent of NFL players are bankrupt or financially stressed.

    According to Commissioner Roger Goodell, the average NFL career is 6-9 years. Reminding me of what our friend Chris Kluwe says NFL players say "NFL" means: not for long.

    The evidence has also been building for years that almost all, if not all, of those players have brain damage. And since young brains don't actually reach full development until 25-28 years of age, many of the young men attempting to get professional football careers have already been damaging their developing brains for years playing football in school. Your brain has the consistency of soft butter, and it wasn't designed to be slammed against the inside of your skull over and over again.

    The evidence is so clear, and so abundant, that if we were a better society than we are, we would ban football in schools immediately, and at least have serious discussions about the future of professional football.

    Posted by: Eric | Feb 28, 2013 12:25:16 PM

  6. So one should sacrifice their dignity for a paycheck?

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Feb 28, 2013 12:40:11 PM

  7. There is a reason only something like 57% of people who identify as LGBTQ are out at work, so just a little over half, and of those 57%, 40% report being harassed as a result of their orientation/gender identity. And that's without bringing up the obvious homophobia issues in NFL locker rooms and sports culture in general. Workplaces generally bring together many different personalities and individuals who would otherwise never associate with one another and that can cause major rifts.

    So do I disagree with Brendon? Yes and no. I think the smartest thing to do at this point is remain closeted and live your dream. But the idea, best thing to do would be to come out, be counted, be heard and not allow yourself to live to the rules of others.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 28, 2013 1:04:54 PM

  8. Recruiters aren't even supposed to be asking about it -- it's in violation of NFL anti-discrimination policy and its contract with the players.

    Posted by: Hunter | Feb 28, 2013 1:05:00 PM

  9. Ayanbadejo and Kluwe have filed a friend-of-the-court brief against Prop 8.

    That's a step above and beyond.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 28, 2013 2:01:17 PM

  10. It's an honest statement from someone who is in the struggle.

    I really appreciate both!

    Posted by: Ray | Feb 28, 2013 6:19:47 PM

  11. So one should sacrifice their dignity for a paycheck?

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Feb 28, 2013 12:40:11 PM

    Marcus, you think that it's just pro football players that have to do that.

    Most of us would do that, if it meant keeping a paycheck coming in.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Feb 28, 2013 6:20:07 PM

  12. Where has the gay public been in pushing the NFL to accept an openly gay player? All these window dressing moves like "Gay Days" and making online "It Gets Better" videos have done there jobs in shutting up the gay public.

    Posted by: Billy Crytical | Feb 28, 2013 7:28:10 PM

  13. "No one should be watching pro football"

    And no one should be buying $300 tickets to a "singer" whose best years were almost 25 years ago or her Gaga clone either.

    See how that works?

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Feb 28, 2013 9:15:47 PM

  14. I like that gay is being talked about in the NFL overall because the genie cannot go back into the bottle at this juncture. several draft classes from now will have an openly gay player and we'll see how the Neanderthals Forever League treats him.

    Posted by: DC Arnold | Mar 1, 2013 8:09:49 AM

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