Gay Marriage | News | Proposition 8 | Rashad Evans | Sports

UFC Fighter Rashad Evans Offers Powerful Statement in Support of Marriage Equality

This week, Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo said that he was trying to get more high-profile athletes and sports figures to sign the brief that he and Vikings punter Chris Kluwe submitted urging the Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8, mentioning that one person who had was UFC fighter "Suga" Rashad Evans.

EvansOutsports spoke with Evans following that news, and got this powerful statement from him about why he signed it:

“I've never been a homophobe, never understood what that is all about. I knew some people who were gay and never cared about their sexuality. But at the same time, I didn't fully understand the issues around gay people until my friend BA started telling me about his full public support for gay marriage. We talked about the issue and I decided its not enough to not be against a minority, if you want things to go better for them you have to speak up with them.

“I'm a UFC fighter, a macho-type sport. I am a heterosexual guy in a tough macho sport, which is exactly the reason I feel a duty to say I support gay marriage and gay rights.

“I have nothing to gain personally from supporting this issue, and that's the point. Society as a whole is better when there is equality, and I want to live in a country where everyone has the same rights because we all benefit from that.

“What people overlook is that is isn't a sex issue, its a love issue. There's no justifiable reason for trying to get in the way of two people who love each other.

“I have kids. I don't want them growing up in a society where they, or their friends, could be second class citizens based on which person they fall in love with or who they want to be happy with.”

We need more athletes like Rashad Evans.

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  1. I have to say I applaud Rashad for stepping forward like this. More specidically I'm surprised that he mentioned his children and how it may affect them should one of them be gay. So few people take into account what may happen if their child is gay and how the laws on the books will affect them so kudos to Rashad, who had to be courageous to speak up for gays being a fighter in the frickin' UFC,for calling attention not only to an important issue but also for reminding people it could affect their family.

    That being said I would take it farther. Your kid doesn't have to be gay to be affected by homophobia. Plenty of straight kids are harrassed and beaten everyday for not being someone's ideal of masculine or feminine. Wish someone would delve into the fact straight people's straight kids are negatively impacted by anti-gay animosity as well, and go into an in depth dialogue. I think it would be a good point for LGBT people to make and would potentially change a lot of minds.

    Posted by: ble.d_out.colo.r | Mar 9, 2013 6:10:07 PM

  2. By the way, "my friend BA" = Brendon Ayanbadejo.

    Posted by: Sean M. Burke | Mar 9, 2013 6:48:22 PM

  3. Congratulations to this man - no mealy-mouthed equivocation, no dissembling, no qualifications; simply a decent, honest, rational straight-ally who recognises that ill-treatment of a minority diminishes ALL of us and who is prepared to stick his neck out and say so despite a potential backlash.

    My many, many straight friends who care for me and who would never dream of discriminating against LGBT people are seldom so thoughtful - for all their merits the necessity of their speaking out on my behalf, proactively, would not necessarily occur to them - this man knows better and should be admired.

    Posted by: Mundus | Mar 9, 2013 7:21:46 PM

  4. This is the difference between someone who "supports" equality, and someone who is a true ally to our community. Bravo, Rashad Evans. Got a new fan in me!

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 9, 2013 8:13:45 PM

  5. Wow.

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Mar 9, 2013 8:26:41 PM

  6. Thank you Rashad!

    Posted by: andrew | Mar 9, 2013 8:29:29 PM

  7. God bless u Rashad!!!

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Mar 9, 2013 8:49:00 PM

  8. That is a really awesome statement of support, one of the best I've ever read.

    Posted by: Caliban | Mar 9, 2013 9:07:37 PM

  9. HERO

    Posted by: danswon | Mar 9, 2013 10:26:10 PM

  10. Phenomenal. What a mensch!

    Posted by: David R. | Mar 9, 2013 10:55:57 PM

  11. Big man! Even bigger heart! He might get some backlash from this from the religous African American community which is still light years behind in this issue, so extra respect for bravery on that front.

    Posted by: Natamaxxx | Mar 9, 2013 11:28:58 PM

  12. @NATAMAXXX: Race isn't the issues you think it is. Some "religious" African-Americans are opposed to marriage equality, but a clear majority of African-American voters are now on our side. In fact, the demographic group most opposed to us is white evangelicals, who still break 25%-75% against, and who have political clout that religious blacks don't have.

    Posted by: BABH | Mar 10, 2013 4:12:08 AM

  13. Even more reason to like Rashad. When he was on The Ultimate Fighter, you could just tell he was a good guy. One of the best responses on this issue too.

    Posted by: daws | Mar 10, 2013 12:45:11 PM

  14. I'd like to commend this awesome guy. And also have a nap in his armpits. :D

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 10, 2013 12:56:59 PM

  15. I too think this is one of the best statements of support for gay people I've ever read. I like that he mentions his children. He not only accepts that some of them might be gay -- he wants the best for them. I also like that he acknowledges that even he, who knew and has never felt uncomfortable around gay people, didn't fully understand the importance of speaking up for gay people until someone schooled him. In addition to being a man who knows the value of love, Rashad strikes me as an honest man. A mensch indeed.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | Mar 10, 2013 1:05:41 PM

  16. PS As BABH points out, it is not the religious African American community that is light years behind" on gay issues -- it is some religious leaders in African American community who are actively homophobic. And given the levels of support for gay marriage among African Americans, I would guess they have no more sway over religious African Americans than the Catholic Church hierarchy does over Catholics at large when in comes to matters of sex, birth control and gay rights. It is indeed the white evangelicals that are much more unified around homophobia and have much more political clout.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | Mar 10, 2013 1:16:08 PM

  17. This is powerful. Thank you, big guy!

    Posted by: darkorient | Mar 10, 2013 1:47:30 PM

  18. Thank you, Rashad Evans, for your support.

    For the record, I am sure there are gay men in your sport that you don't know about.

    "Macho" is not restricted to heterosexual men, by the way.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Mar 10, 2013 2:45:10 PM

  19. Hopefully he didn't hurt his shoulder patting himself on the back.

    Posted by: MIke | Mar 11, 2013 12:20:06 PM

  20. Sounds like this guy has taken too many hits to the head. Homosexuality is nothing more than a mental illness that needs to be treated.

    Posted by: Mark | Mar 11, 2013 7:22:29 PM

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