NFL Linebacker Scott Fujita: ‘I Support Marriage Equality for So Many Reasons’

NFL linebacker Scott Fujita, who has been speaking out since 2009 and has since appeared in videos from Americans for Marriage Equality among others, pens a stunning piece for the NYT about why he's an advocate for marriage equality:

FujitaI support marriage equality for so many reasons: my father’s experience in an internment camp and the racial intolerance his family experienced during and after the war, the gay friends I have who are really not all that different from me, and also because of a story I read a few years back about a woman who was denied the right to visit her partner of 15 years when she was stuck in a hospital bed.

My belief is rooted in a childhood nurtured by a Christian message of love, compassion and acceptance. It’s grounded in the fact that I was adopted and know there are thousands of children institutionalized in various foster programs, in desperate need of permanent, safe and loving homes, but living in states that refuse to allow unmarried couples, including gays and lesbians, to adopt because they consider them not fit to be parents.

In articulating all my feelings about marriage equality, I almost don’t know where to begin. And perhaps that’s part of the problem. Why do we have to explain ourselves when it comes to issues of fairness and equality? Why is common sense not enough?

Fujita2Fujita adds:

Some think football players like me should just keep our mouths shut and focus on the game. But we’re people first, and football players a distant second. Football is a big part of what we do, but a very small part of who we are. And historically, sports figures like Jackie Robinson, Billie Jean King and Muhammad Ali have been powerful agents for social change. That’s why the messages athletes send — including the way they treat others and the words they use — can influence many people, especially children.

Believe it or not, conversations about issues like gay marriage take place in locker rooms every day. In many respects, the football locker room is a microcosm of society. While there is certainly an element of bravado in our sport, football players are not the meatheads many think we are. For some of my friends who raise personal objections to marriage equality, they still recognize the importance of being accepting. And many of them also recognize that regardless of what they choose to believe or practice at home or at their church, that doesn’t give them the right to discriminate.

Acceptance by Example, on the Field and at Home [nyt]

Comments

  1. Rees Cramer says

    Well I have to say thank you my brother, we are both dumb jocks that people don’t take serious. You bring up some of my hero’s in Robinson, King, and Ali. I wish they could all speak to us today but we are so lucky to have Billy Jean, we know what she thinks.
    None of them could tolerate discrimination and now we have you. We all know that it is a time that has come to for change and as my bothers and sisters know we are now not alone. So from me and all of my family, Thank you, you are now family. On Thanksgiving you are welcome at my table. It is going to be a big family this year. Rees Cramer

  2. EchtKultig says

    Wow. I’m not normally one to get swept away by these kind of public figures giving an affirmation, but give this man the Nobel Peace Prize. Every word of it is perfect, there is not one too many or one too few.

  3. ratbastard says

    Impossible. According to the party approved narrative, all ‘jocks’ are meatheads and enemies of the LGBT, women, undocumented immigrant, and people of color communities.

    *sarcasm off*

  4. andrew says

    @JackM: Isn’t Christianity based on the belief that the collection of books called the Bible is the inspired word of God? Have you read the Bible, especially the Old Testament? How do you square the horrific acts and teachings of the Israelite God Yahweh with your beliefs about love and acceptance? Many Christians and Jews have taken the wicked God Yahweh and spun him into “Our Heavenly Father”. The only way you can do that is by ignoring most of what the bible says about the behavior and teachings of that horrific Israelite tribal God.

  5. Fritz Keppler says

    Love this guy. I just wish he were still a Saint! It was great to have him on the team that won the Super Bowl and lifted the morale of a beleaguered city. And proud to have him as a long term supporter of marriage equality.

  6. Bob says

    Embracing sin, sickness, evil and immorality are not consistant with Christianity. If that were so, why dont you all have pedophiles over to sleep with your kids? Robbers to clean your house? Violent murderes to be your roomate? You are all hypocrites, and filthy moraless fools.

    Freedom and Morality.

  7. says

    The first Saints home game played in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina, Scott Fujita intercepted a touchdown-bound pass on the Five Yard Line, right in front of me (from about forty rows up). Still one of my favorite sports moments. Always articulate, always accommodating to autograph seekers, passionate about adoption (he and his brother were adopted by a Japanese-Caucasian couple), passionate about the NFL adopting anti-concussion policies, a major voice in the Players’ Association (NFLPA), and the best Japanese-American player in the league (because he’s the only one — and the only reason some Asian-American newspapers follow pro football).

  8. andrew says

    @Bob: Study some history instead of just spouting hate. Start with a study of Medieval torture and burning at the stake of “heretics”. Study also the several centuries of Crusades in the name of Christianity and the hundreds of years of Christian Inquisitions. It is only with the Renaissance and Enlightenment and the very gradual secularization of Europe that Christianity was defanged and forced to become a more civilized religion.

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