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04/19/2007


Brendon Ayanbadejo Interviews Jason Collins on Being Gay in the NBA: VIDEO

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Jason Collins phoned in to speak with LGBT ally and former Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo on FOXSports' 'Unconventional Wisdom' podcast for a wide-ranging interview about joining the Brooklyn Nets, how he stayed in physical and mental shape while waiting for a team to call him up from his free agent status.

Said Collins: “You try to control what you can control. What was in my hand was how hard I worked.  I put myself in the best possible position.”

Collins downplays the anti-gay slurs he received from one "knucklehead" and also tells Ayanbadejo that his boyfriend has come on the road with the team and that the reception has been great. Collins says he has heard no derogatory words in the locker room.

Collins also talks about being a mentor to Michael Sam and running together, as well as meeting Matthew Shepard's parents, a moment that brings up plenty of emotion.

Listen to the full interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Brendon Ayanbadejo Interviews Jason Collins on Being Gay in the NBA: VIDEO" »


Brendon Ayanbadejo Backs Up Chris Kluwe's Claims of Anti-Gay Bigotry in the NFL: VIDEO

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Former NFL star and Super Bowl champ Brendon Ayanbadejo spoke with TMZ yesterday and said that former punter Chris Kluwe is "100 percent right" in his claims that he was fired for his gay activism, saying that given his record, stats, and skills there is no way that Kluwe should have been cut for any other reason.

"Even though the NFL tries to keep you in a box in terms of your philanthropy he went out there and he did what he thought was right. Would he be in the league today if he had continued to go speak at schools about education or fitness, or if he continued to do hunger drives, or cancer awareness type of stuff? Yeah, he'd probably still be in the NFL but Chris did what was right for him."

Watch Ayanbadejo's entire statement, AFTER THE JUMP...

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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)


First Inductees of the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Honored in Chicago

21 individuals, three organizations, one sports team, and one corporation were among those honored Friday night in Chicago as the first inductees to the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. The events, according to CBS News, included "a dinner Friday night to honor the inductees at a ceremony at the Center on Halsted and an event on Saturday at Wrigley Field called 'Out at Wrigley,' which organizers says is the largest "Gay Day' at a major league sporting event."

PalloneAmong those inducted was Dave Pallone, who umpired the first night game at Wrigley Field.

Said Pallone, via the AP:

"It is a tremendous honor and ... I hope it gives young people and adults alike who happen to be LGBT and want to be in professional sports another example of why they should continue to strive for their dreams," Pallone said.

Pallone also spoke out about the situation in Russia: "The Olympic Games are for the athletes, not for political or religious figures. Athletes come in all shapes and sizes, colors and orientations," said David Pallone, a former umpire in Major League Baseball. "I truly believe that the IOC should really start thinking about the athletes before they select the host cities."

The complete list of the organization's first inductees:

Gay Games, Outsports.com, Chicago Cubs, International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA), Anheuser Busch, Chris Kluwe, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Ben Cohen, Dave Pallone, Justin Fashanu, LZ Granderson, Christina Kahrl, Dr. Tom Waddell, Chuck Dima, Jerry Pritikin, Dave Kopay, Glenn Burke, Renee Richards, Billie, Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Greg Louganis, Patty Sheehan, Andrew Goldstein, Jason Collins, Orlando Cruz and Johnny Weir.


NFL Players Association Selling 'LGBT Pride' T-Shirts

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The NFL Players Association has launched a line of 'LGBT Pride' t-shirts to benefit (all proceeds) the anti-homophobia group Athlete Ally. Supporters have the option of adding the jersey number and name of Brendon Ayanbadejo, Connor Barwin, Scott Fujita, Steve Gleason, Chris Gocong, Chris Kluwe, Donte' Stallworth, Terrell Suggs or Eric Winston to the shirts, which sell for $24.99.

Said Oakland Raiders punter Chris Kluwe: “I am extremely proud to be a part of this collaboration between Athlete Ally and the NFLPA’s One Team Shop to raise awareness both of Pride month and the issue of tolerance and respect within the NFL itself. As players, we are role models to a wide variety of people, and this is a great way to send a message of empathy to those who love and watch the game. Also, I'm pretty stoked that people can buy something with my number on it.”


Esera Tuaolo and Brendon Ayanbadejo Discuss Gay Pro Athletes on 'Face the Nation': VIDEO

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Gay former NFL player Esera Tuaolo and NFL free agent and LGBT ally Brendon Ayanbadejo joined Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation this morning to talk about Jason Collins' coming out and what it means for the future of LGBT people and pro sports.

Said Tuaolo:

"What kept me from playing to my full potential is what people need to realize. When you're in the closet and you're living with this crippling secret, you're living with depression, you're living with suicidal tendencies, you're living with blackouts, you're living with stress. That's what I played with, and it was very difficult to play to the best of my ability, to the fullest of my potential when you're carrying all of that with you. What Jason did was absolutely amazing. And I can relate with him when he said when he came out he felt complete. He felt whole."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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