Brendon Ayanbadejo | Chris Culliver | Football (American) | News | Sports

Marriage Equality Advocate Brendon Ayanbadejo Responds to Chris Culliver's Anti-Gay Remarks

Here's Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo's reaction to Chris Culliver's anti-gay remarks:

B_ayanbadejo"You know, I think that in San Francisco, and being from the Bay Area myself, that's something that we really try to preach -- love and acceptance of everybody. And so I couldn't really even say anything negative to the young man. It's just one of those things where you have to live and you have to learn. And I said earlier on (a TV broadcast) -- in the words of Martin Luther King, you can't fight hate with hate. You have to fight hate with love. We've all made our mistakes, we've all been there and done certain things, and we've hurt people regardless if we meant to do it or not. But more than anything it's an opportunity to have a learning experience.

"I've preached since day one to my teammates that there's certain words you can't say. And when they're around me they know -- if B.A.'s around, you can't say 'gay' in a derogatory manner, you can't say the three-letter 'f' word. And I tell them, I go, you can't say those things. And if people hear you say those things, regardless if you mean them or not, they're going to fry you. And if it's in a public arena your whole reputation's going to be roasted for it.

So we've kind of seen it happen this time. So we just have to all learn from what happened, from this mistake. He apologized and hopefully he'll learn. And he's in the Bay Area, and it's really important there, it's pertinent there. So I think he's going to learn and he's going to grow to be a better person for it."

The AP adds to those remarks:

"I'd say 50 percent of the people (in the NFL) think like Culliver. I'd say 25 percent of the people think like me. And 25 percent of the people are religious. They don't necessarily agree with all the things I agree with, but they're accepting," Ayanbadejo said. "So it's a fight. It's an uphill battle."

And USA Today reports:

Ayanbadejo, who got into a public battle with a Maryland delegate over gay marriage in September, welcomed the discussion — to a point. He balked only when asked for his theory on why pro football locker rooms seem to be behind the rest of society in accepting gay lifestyles.

"Honestly, I have my opinions why but I really can't voice them now," he said. "I think it's something we'll have to talk about after the Super Bowl."

Because they're too controversial?

"Yeah, I mean, it's tough to be sitting here talking about equality, and naturally that's the most important thing but right here and now I'm focusing on the Super Bowl so it's kind of tough to be talking about equality and what not when we're here for a Super Bowl," Ayanbadejo said. "With this such a huge platform and being such a big game, I have to narrow my scopes and have real fine vision and know the importance of why I am here and I'm here because of the Super Bowl.

"Of course, if I can be a voice for equality, especially after this game, then I welcome everybody to sit down and get together after the game and we'll do a lot more for equality than just talking about it now at a sporting event."

Finallly, the SacBee adds:

Asked if he believes Culliver's comments represent a common feeling among NFL players, Ayanbadejo said: "Yeah, it's pretty normal. It's pretty normal behavior."

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  1. So articulate, so right. Pretty much the opposite of Culliver.

    Posted by: Jono | Feb 1, 2013 11:01:29 AM

  2. When Karl Marx talked about the opiate of the masses, I don't think he was thinking Superbowl, but if it's not one thing it's another.

    When pro-football players are debating gay rights that's progress. When some pro-football players' ignorant, taken-for-granted homophobia gets called out as unacceptable that's progress. Things are changing for the better.

    Where is Eric Decker in all of this?

    Posted by: Fahd | Feb 1, 2013 11:13:31 AM

  3. Normal behavior? It's definitely common behavior, but it's not normal.

    Posted by: Not that Rob | Feb 1, 2013 11:22:53 AM

  4. He's wonderfully well-spoken and intelligent. He has kids, right? They have a wonderful father.

    Posted by: Mikey | Feb 1, 2013 11:31:33 AM

  5. I love this guy!

    He is articulate and refuses to be baited into a name-calling fight (as opposed to a productive debate - which he seems to welcome). He also has not wavered from his opinion - equality for all - even when he is faced with direct opposition from his own teammates. Such confidence is a rare thing. I'm glad he is willing to speak up for us.

    As for Eric Decker - he was at my place last night. Well, he was in the dream I had.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Feb 1, 2013 11:33:48 AM

  6. What a sweetheart. I just love this guy. I sure hope they win this Sunday because he deserves only good things to happen for him.

    Posted by: jersey | Feb 1, 2013 11:56:17 AM

  7. What a sweetheart. I just love this guy. I sure hope they win this Sunday because he deserves only good things to happen for him.

    Posted by: jersey | Feb 1, 2013 11:56:18 AM

  8. An articulate, intelligent man. Hope he walks away with a Super Bowl totem or medal or whatever they give the winners.

    Posted by: Goodcarver | Feb 1, 2013 12:10:29 PM

  9. The anti-gay Christians will say and do anything to stop LGBT people, they will do anything to cock block gays and stop LGBT people.

    Posted by: Jose | Feb 1, 2013 12:11:32 PM

  10. Love Brendan and Chris Kluwe too. It really says something that these two obviously intelligent and articulate men are on the side of equality while the bigots and haters are represented by an inarticulate fool like Chris Culliver.

    I'm not a sports fan and won't be watching the Super Bowl, but this year I feel like I have some skin in the game. So for maybe the first time ever I'm cheering for one of the teams. Go Ravens! ;-)

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 1, 2013 12:27:40 PM

  11. I'm feeling like I wanna show that speaking up the way Ayanbadejo has is responded to strongly. So I would donate but I can't find a charity or other organization that would specifically connect to him has the rainmaker. If anyone comes across one please let me know.

    Posted by: Markt | Feb 1, 2013 12:54:58 PM

  12. At least he acknowledged that ALL the straight players agree with Culliver. It doesn't matter what this fellow thinks or how badly he wants to come out of the closet, straight jocks will never accept an out gay teammate.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Feb 1, 2013 1:14:45 PM

  13. In case you haven't seen it, here's one of the commercials he did for marriage equality in Maryland.

    Posted by: will | Feb 1, 2013 1:16:51 PM

  14. "At least he acknowledged that ALL the straight players agree with Culliver."
    Posted by: NullNaught | Feb 1, 2013 1:14:45 PM

    Really? from the original citation of this post...

    ... The AP adds to those (Ayanbadejo's) remarks:
    "I'd say 50 percent of the people (in the NFL) think like Culliver."

    Posted by: dave02657 | Feb 1, 2013 1:56:39 PM

  15. @Dave02657

    I went by this article... If he underestimated the numbers elsewhere because of wishful thinking or other reasons,what does it matter? That is what the straight players think.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Feb 1, 2013 2:22:00 PM

  16. If anyone is pulling "facts" straight out of their @ss around here it's you, Nullnaught. (I can't help notice that your name means ZERO, so you should be commended for your honesty there at least.) Only gay men and closeted gay men support gay rights and marriage equality? Well that's good to know since, given the recent election results in Maryland, Washington state, Vermont & Wisconsin there's a bumper crop of gay men in those states to choose from!

    Either that or you're full of sh*t as usual, which is unfortunately the more likely explanation.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 1, 2013 2:47:15 PM

  17. @Caliban

    I am surprised at you as usually you post intelligently rather than belittling your own intellect by throwing around personal insults. I am also surprised you put words in my mouth; but less so. I never said only gay people and closeted gay men support gay rights. That I believe all straight players feel that way is because playing and/or watching sports corrupts the mind, and retards the thinking process. I honestly don't believe a straight player has the strength of character or mind to be for gay rights. This guy is outspokenly for gay rights. I assume he is in the closet. If he is a fluke, what difference does it make? Straight players will never accept a gay teammate.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Feb 1, 2013 3:32:54 PM

  18. So Brendon, Chris Kluwe, and all the other players who have spoken out on behalf of gay rights, have appeared in You Can Play or (knowingly, since there's apparently some doubt) in It Gets Better vids are secretly gay?

    You realize that doesn't make a lot of sense, right? Believe me, I'm not a huge fan of "jocks" in general, but they are all individuals with their own opinions and experiences. They are no more a monolithic group with just ONE set of opinions than gays are. I would humbly suggest that if you think that ALL straight athletes hate gays that might be more about your assumptions and issues than theirs.

    Gay people DO have enemies in this world but sometimes people will surprise you. That "redneck" or "jock" or whoever that you've pigeonholed just might not be as narrow as you think.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 1, 2013 5:51:27 PM

  19. @Caliban

    Thank you for refraining form personal attacks. The reason I say that no straight player is for gay rights is that the constant anti-gay propaganda and environment leaves no room for individuals of little intelligence to have a unique viewpoint. No I disagree that straight jocks think for themselves. They are not allowed to if they are a member of a team. If they attempt to do so they are not a team player. Free thinking is frowned upon in sports with both fists. There is no room for a weak minded individual to retain their integrity in this environment. It may not make sense to you, but yes, any outspoken advocate of gay rights in professional sports is almost certainly a closeted gay person. They haven't got the strength of character to come out because they are athletes. They are per se idiot scum. I wouldn't say that about any other group; not even soldiers. But the environment leaves no room for a tolerant straight jock.
    I have in my life gone out of my way to give jocks the benefit of the doubt. I even befriended straight people including jocks in an attempt to reach across the chasm. Believe me, jocks are waaaaaaay to stupid ever to do so. They will never ever surprise you. They truly are too stupid to think, let alone think freely.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Feb 1, 2013 6:12:49 PM

  20. And now NULLNAUGHT -- who baited and ensnared dear CALIBAN, an otherwise even tempered, insightful commenter -- says "jocks are waaaaaaay to (sic) stupid"... FAIL on all counts

    Posted by: shane | Feb 1, 2013 7:35:46 PM

  21. @Shane

    I am autistic. Autistic people are bad at spelling. You are making fun of me for being disabled. Your comment goes to my person rather than my argument. Do you have an argument, or are you here just to make an @$$hole of yourself publicly?

    Posted by: NullNaught | Feb 1, 2013 7:51:57 PM

  22. @Nullnaught: Don't speak. Don't post here again. Ever. Slap your fingers if you find yourself wanting to post another comment here. Stop it. Remember that I told you this, and above all, never post on towleroad.c

    Posted by: Just_a_guy | Feb 1, 2013 9:56:57 PM

  23. Btw Go Ravens!!

    Posted by: Just_a_guy | Feb 1, 2013 10:07:03 PM

  24. @Just_A_Guy

    Are you threatening me?

    Posted by: NullNaught | Feb 1, 2013 10:19:07 PM

  25. @Nullnaugt, nah. I just figured that your self-loathing comments were begging for someone to put u in your place. I figured it might as well be me. :-). Was I wrong??

    Posted by: Just_a_guy | Feb 1, 2013 10:27:10 PM

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