Brendon Ayanbadejo | Don Lemon | Football (American) | News | Sports

Super Bowl Champ Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo Talks Gay Rights, Marriage Equality with Don Lemon: VIDEO

Ayanbadejo

Brendon Ayanbadejo gave an AMAZING interview to Don Lemon yesterday on CNN, fresh off his Super Bowl victory. I've transcribed some of his remarks below.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

"I don't consider it gay rights. I just call it rights. Everyone deserves to be treated equally, said Ayanbadejo, kicking off a discussion about his advocacy for marriage equality, Chris Culliver's remarks, what he thinks about people that call being gay an abomination, and the other straight athlete allies working to bring acceptance of LGBT people to sports."

"Now that I'm a Super Bowl champion now my voice just projects that much further and hopefully it can lead to more change and more positive things for the LGBT community," says Ayanbadejo.

Lemon_ayanbadejoHe adds:

"Everyone's been talking to gay people their whole lives whether we know it or not. We really believe that you're born gay. I've had plenty of conversations with people that are gay and they say they are born gay, no different than me being born this beautiful almond coconut color that I am. People are born gay. So why treat them any differently? It's time that we treat everyone fairly. And not only are we trying to dictate who people should love. We're also trying to dictate who people should be. If a woman wants to wear a man's clothes or a man wants to wear a woman's clothes or you feel like you're a woman on the inside and you're really a man. Who cares? Let's just treat everybody equally. Let's move on. Let's evolve as a culture, as a people."

Chris_culliverWhen asked about Chris Culliver's remarks, Ayanbadejo said that's what he's working to change and that Culliver is young and he'll learn:

"I think more than anything it's going to be a learning experience for him...We have to start talking about this issue. There's groups like Athlete Ally, and myself, Chris Kluwe, Scott Fujita. We're all about inclusiveness in sports and treating everyone equally...It's unfortunate that he made the comments. I know he's sorry for them, and I know he's gonna make it right when he gets the opportunity to do so."

And what of people who say being gay is an abomination?

"I say that this Constitution gives you the right to believe in whatever you want to believe in...Don't use those same rights to disenfranchise others."

Ayanbadejo says he does not know any closeted players but says he's working with other allies so that when a player does decide to come out he'll have help:

"When our Jackie Robinson does come out he's going to have a supporting cast around him."

Do not miss this interview.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. To have pro football players publicly discussing gay rights issues [and to have a Superbowl winner on our side] is priceless. Brendon Ayanbadejo and Don Lemmon have my complete respect and admiration. It's hard for many average people, it's especially hard for black guys on several levels, and for black pro athletes and guys in Lemmon's position it's more difficult,still.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 5, 2013 9:25:52 AM


  2. Sorry, DON LEMON not Lemmon.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 5, 2013 9:26:22 AM


  3. our football hero

    Posted by: t | Feb 5, 2013 9:50:33 AM


  4. Oh how wonderful answers, thoughts. Such an intellectual way to make a point. He's a real, secure and strong man. Thank you for you thoughts and all the best in the future.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Feb 5, 2013 9:57:21 AM


  5. He's great, and must have a fair share of LGBT friends or family to use wording like "this beautiful almond coconut color that I am" and "our Jackie Robinson." Things really are changing.

    Posted by: Paul | Feb 5, 2013 10:15:28 AM


  6. I also found it particularly gratifying that the pass interference penalty on Culliver late in the game single-handedly kept the Ravens' drive alive that resulted in a field goal. Absent that, the option of running down the clock with a safety would not have been an option for Baltimore. He also blew his coverage assignments twice in the first half, and both times resulted in touchdowns by the Ravens. He was arguably the Least Valuable Player.

    Posted by: Stefan | Feb 5, 2013 10:16:33 AM


  7. Well, maybe Culliver wasn't at the top of his game because he'd have some trouble sleeping over the past week after learning that being an idiot jerkface doesn't go over as well as it once did.

    Posted by: Paul | Feb 5, 2013 10:22:35 AM


  8. I gotta say, I absolutely love this quote...
    "I say that this Constitution gives you the right to believe in whatever you want to believe in...Don't use those same rights to disenfranchise others."

    Why haven't politicians been able to muster the temerity & intellect that this guy does???

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Feb 5, 2013 10:29:38 AM


  9. We in Baltimore are very proud that he's a Raven! He's awesome.

    Posted by: Jack M | Feb 5, 2013 11:27:33 AM


  10. Isn't it amazing when we encounter a perceptive straight person who is capable
    of rational thought? How do such things happen?

    Posted by: Frank C | Feb 5, 2013 11:42:20 AM


  11. Congratulations to Brendon Ayanbadejo on his and his team's Super Bowl win.

    And, thank you, Mr. Ayanbadejo for being such an eloquent spokesperson for LGBT people.

    You do us very, very proud.

    Posted by: MikeInQueens | Feb 5, 2013 12:10:12 PM


  12. Brendon, you do Santa Cruz proud!!

    Posted by: Tom | Feb 5, 2013 12:15:09 PM


  13. I am glad for Brendon Ayanbadejo that his team won and he's got a Super Bowl ring.

    Still, I had a problem with his teammate, Ray Lewis, getting any glory at all. But that's just sour grapes on my part.

    Brendon, you are a great man for supporting our community. You and I agree on this: the only way to fight homophobia and the ignorance from which it stems is to educate, educate, educate. It's the only lasting way to root out bigotry wherever it rears its ugly head.

    On an unrelated note, I think SF's QB, Colin Kaepernick, is hot as hell and he makes me weak at the knees.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Feb 5, 2013 12:16:20 PM


  14. Love it: "When our Jackie Robinson does come out he's going to have a supporting cast around him."

    Posted by: ohbear1957 | Feb 5, 2013 6:24:49 PM


  15. weel done brother that was prety good interview with the good guy Don , love you all brother.

    Posted by: magnus | Feb 6, 2013 11:14:52 AM


  16. Why doesn't anyone ever call out Matt Birk, the Raven who made openly homophobic comments? While Culliver deserves criticism and Ayabandejo the highest praise, does Birk just get a pass? Why?

    Posted by: Scoobie | Feb 6, 2013 12:05:43 PM


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