Brendon Ayanbadejo Dreams Of Bringing Gay Marriage To Super Bowl, Dancing With Ellen

brendon-ellenAt 3:40 am, hours after the Baltimore Ravens defeated the New England Patriots to earn a place in Super Bowl XLVII, Ravens linebacker and staunch gay marriage supporter Brendon Ayanbadejo wrote in an email:

“Is there anything I can do for marriage equality or anti- bullying over the next couple of weeks to harness this Super Bowl media?”

Ayanbadejo directed his email to marriage equality advocate Brian Ellner and Michael Skolnik, political director to hip hop impresario and same-sex marriage supporter, Russell Simmons.

After Frank Bruni of The New York Times, who had previously profiled Ayanbadejo and fellow gay-loving gridiron gladiator Chris Kluwe, got a hold of it, he reached out to Ayanbadejo.

“It’s one of those times when you’re really passionate and in your zone,” Ayanbadejo told Bruni. “And I got to thinking about all kinds of things, and I thought: how can we get our message out there?”

According to Bruni:

By “we” and “our” he meant the rapidly growing number of Americans who feel passionately about the justice of same-sex marriage and care about L.G.B.T. rights in general, and by “message” he meant that equal rights for all Americans means that two men and two women should be legally able to wed….

Ayanbadejo’s support for gay rights reflects a childhood and youth during which he mingled with a diverse group of people, including many who were openly gay or lesbian. At one point, he told me, his stepfather was the resident director of an L.G.B.T. dorm at the University of California at Santa Cruz; the family, including Ayanbadejo, lived there.

The Ravens linebacker was intitally thrust onto the political scene after Baltimore lawmaker Emmett C. Burns tried to pressure the team’s owner to silence Brendon’s outspoken support for gay marriage.

Ayanbadejo has also butted heads with teammates over his refusal to indulge in Chick-fil-A, “protesting” the sandwiches due to the chain’s very public anti-gay record.

In the lead-up to the Super Bowl on February 3, Brendon is talking to gay rights advocates on how best to seize the national media attention that comes with America’s most-watched television event, including Hudson Taylor, founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally.

“He’s so excited and ready to take a stand in whatever way he can,” said Taylor. “He is leveraging the biggest sports stage in the world.”

And should he and the Ravens win on Super Sunday, Ayanbadejo wants to take a completely different stage.

“That’s my ultimate goal after the Super Bowl,” Ayanbadejo said. “To go on Ellen’s show, to be dancing with her, to bust a move with her.”

Well, whatever the outcome, we’re sure Ellen will be glad to break it down, Degeneres-style, with Brendon.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #athleteally #baltimoreravens #brendonayanbadejo stories and more


  • Dawster

    Dude, you started out with the FALCONS. You can’t get any gayer than that…

  • Spike

    Will he be wearing those same white football pants when he dances on Ellen? Hope so, only reason to watch the Superbowl IMO those tight pants that pretty much show everything, els enjoy the jockstrap lines in the back, does that make gay?

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    My God, that man is so friggin’ hot!

  • Merv

    This is kind of weird. I’ve lived my whole life in a world where straight people are either hostile or indifferent, and now when I see an outspoken straight supporter I get kind of suspicious. What’s his angle? Is he pulling an elaborate “love the sinner, hate the sin” routine? I know it’s irrational, but my brain can’t quite process a non-gay person that passionate about gay rights.

  • jackpapa

    God bless and keep positive role models like Brendon Ayanbadejo. I can only imagine what my teens would have been like if I had thought ,for iust one minute, that it might be even REMOTELY possible that a man like Brendon Ayanbadejo would accept me just the way I was. There are kids out there today whose lives are made better by the fact that this man even exists.

  • stephaniemotesbooks

    Hope you guys check out my first novel “After the Dawn”
    For Lieutenant Samantha ‘Sammy’ Yates, leaving the Marines wasn’t an option she ever wanted. Forced out of the service because of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, she tries to move on with her life– putting up a good facade to those who don’t know her very well. Alone, however; she is plagued with battle scars she can’t shake even two years after her tour.
    When successful psychiatrist, Sara Lawson, decided to move back to the only place she ever felt safe, the last thing she had on her mind was falling in love. Deciding to renovate the home she inherited from her grandmother, she crosses paths with Sammy, who is now working as a contractor. Sara spots something kindred in the woman’s hardened, but kind blue eyes.
    Each hiding their own secrets in the small Florida town, they both realize that the walls they had spent years perfecting have started to crack around one another. As they slowly build a friendship, can they keep each other safe from the danger that is speeding towards them?

    Full story here:

  • balehead

    Straight athletes will bring it…they already all the glory..but sometimes it’s good to give back..that’s why they’re doing it…

  • Aidan8

    Brendon… nice package. Damn.

  • Faggot

    @Merv: It’s become fashionable to support gay marriage and that is probably why he is doing it. Actually, the only way that gay marriage will become a reality in the USA is if it becomes VERY fashionable. Fashionable issues = acceptance of those issues.

    However, this article does say he has has been exposed to LGBTs, and exposure also = acceptance.

    “Ayanbadejo’s support for gay rights reflects a childhood and youth during which he mingled with a diverse group of people, including many who were openly gay or lesbian. At one point, he told me, his stepfather was the resident director of an L.G.B.T. dorm at the University of California at Santa Cruz; the family, including Ayanbadejo, lived there.”

  • Faggot

    What exactly does Hudson Taylor mean when he says, ““He (Brendon Ayanbadejo) is leveraging the biggest sports stage in the world.”?

    Internationally, the following are ranked as the biggest sporting events in the WORLD (in terms of world-wide viewership and gross revenue):

    3. The 24 Hours of the Le Mans, France championship (sports car race in endurance racing)
    2. The Olympic Games
    1. The FIFA World Cup (soccer)

    Outside of the USA, the American Superbowl rarely gets more than a 10 second segment in the sports section of the nightly news. This might be slightly higher in Canada, though. In short, American Football appeals to viewers in the USA and not abroad — an it is most certainly NOT the biggest sports stage in the WORLD.

    Mr. Taylor’s nationalism clouds his objectivity and ability to do fact checking.

  • Faggot

    @Aidan8: An American football player who is not pudgy, but actually has ABS. Wow!

  • technicolornina

    @Merv: Merv, I know nothing of Brendon’s history or family life, but it may interest you to know my grampa–of all the unexpected people–became an advocate for equality after I came out. He defended me to those in our community who put me down and this past year he chose–for the first time in his life–to vote in a direction that would grant me equal rights, because his conscience wouldn’t keep quiet. This all started when he was 81 years old.

    I would say if a man who can say he remembers voting for Eisenhower can change his stance to protect a granddaughter he loves, it’s equally likely–no, moreso–that a man in his twenties or thirties can say “man, I have a brother/sister/cousin/best friend/[fill in your own blank here] . . . . ” That’s a great way to find a cause you’re passionate about.

    I come with young’un bias, though. I have never lived in a world (or rather, I have not since coming out in 2006 lived in a world) where straight allies were unusual.

  • brokeback gypsy

    @Merv: That would be HISTORY repeating itself. John Brown was probably the best known abolitionist and he was white. Most movements are transformed only when the “outsiders” begin to speak up and come out of their own type of closet. We must work hard from within but I am grateful for Ayanbadejo, Kluwe and all our other non-gay allies. Our time will come, and then it will be us returning the favor.

Comments are closed.