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.
Outsports 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.