Brendon Ayanbadejo Pens Open Letter to Ole Miss on LGBT Inclusivity Following Heckling Incident

Brendon AyanbadejoIn an open letter posted on Fox Sports today, Brendon Ayanbadejo offered to help the University of Mississippi's educational outreach on LGBT inclusivity following reports earlier this week of a mass heckling of a student production of 'The Laramie Project,' the Moises Kaufman play about the Matthew Shepard murder. Approximately 20 Ole Miss football players were involved in the heckling incident, with reports of some calling cast members 'fags.'

Says Ayanbadejo, in part:

The alleged behavior of Ole Miss football players along with freshmen from other sports and students attending the play to fulfill some underclassmen requirements is abhorrent and unacceptable.

I blame the administration as much as I blame the athletes. This is a graphic play and a graphic production. People need to have an idea of what they are getting themselves into.

In no way do I condone this behavior but you need to have a conversation with these athletes when they set foot on any campus as to what is expected from them as representatives of the university.

This is why the work of Athlete Ally and groups like the Gay Straight Alliance, which serves as a bridge for gay and straight students in high school to form an alliance of inclusivity and nondiscriminatory behavior is so important.

Unfortunately everyone was not raised with the morality and values to treat all people equally.

A representative of the Ole Miss athletes allegedly apologized – after being prompted by a member of the school's academic staff – but many didn't quite understand what they were apologizing for. […]

So before Ole Miss is quick to hand down punishment I would like to see them take a more holistic and proactive approach in educating students and student athletes alike. All you have to do is reach out and I will be happy to discuss how I can help you take the next step."

You can read the full letter HERE

(photo via Instagram)


  1. David From Canada says

    What a great guy. Kudos to him for helping out and educating.
    Did he ever find another football team to play for? I was really hoping he would.

  2. Onnyjay says

    Thanks, Brendon, for proposing an intelligent and compassionate strategy for creative change. And a fitting memorial to Matthew.

  3. rick scatorum says

    The athletes should apologize, not a representative

    They represent the whole team and the university.

  4. Chucktech says

    Somehow, I have this feeling that football players from Mississippi could give two shits about what some foreign-looking guy with a funny name thinks of their fag hating.

  5. PS says

    Matthew wasn’t murdered by gay lovers. These types still exist, and probably don’t respond to letters. You never know who hates you.

  6. Terry says

    Yet another ass who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The play is NOT graphic. He obviously never saw it himself. Saying it was graphic implies that there are gay sex scenes and this might be an excuse for the behavior of dumb football players. I took high school students to a production with the blessing of the administration. A faculty member was a key player. They were subjected to nothing graphic.

  7. FFS says

    My favorite part is the subtle burn on parents that raise their kids to value athletic achievement over learn how not to act like a complete toolbox.