Spotlight: Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo


Brendon Ayanbadejo by Keith Allison




“If they wanted to be real men and have conversations, I would have, but no one did.”






Like many Americans, Brendon Ayanbadejo is an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage. What makes him unusual is that he is also a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. And in the hyper-masculine world of professional football, an open advocate of equality for LGBT Americans is still a risky thing to be. For this reason, we are conferring on Brendon an honorary MARC membership (yes, we can do that!)

Ayanbadejo, who grew up in a housing project in Chicago, became one of the first athletes on a major American professional sports team to speak out in support of same-sex marriage in 2009. As a result, he was the target of crude locker room harassment from many of his teammates. “If I was walking by, and they wanted to be immature and make comments, I’d keep walking,” Ayanbadejo recently told The New York Times. “If they wanted to be real men and have conversations, I would have, but no one did.”

As Domonique Foxworth, who is president of the N.F.L. Players Association and was Ayanbadejo’s teammate on the Ravens, told the Times: “In an environment like an N.F.L. locker room, I think it’s extremely commendable to have the courage to stand up for something like this.” At MARC, we couldn’t agree more: good men and women stand up for what’s right, even (and especially) when they have something to lose.

With that in mind: Go Ravens!
Posted by Mike Otterman on Feb 1, 2013 11:06 AM EST

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