Super Bowl Champ Brendon Ayanbadejo Calls For End Of Homophobia In Pro Sports


I know that there are plenty of good men in the NFL. I am fortunate to play alongside them as a member of the Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens. Together the Ravens became world champions. Together we can be more than Super Bowl winners. Together athletes in all four of our country’s major sports leagues — the NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA — can be more than good men. Since human rights are far more important than sports, we need to be Athlete Allies who are willing to leverage our social capital and all that goes with it — like fans, endorsement deals and more — to stand up for a larger purpose…

…the sports world — my world — is the last closet in America.

There are many reasons why no gay athlete has come out in the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB, most of which are likely to go away with support and acceptance from the straight community. As leaders and even role models for millions of young people across the globe, professional athletes have the ability to fundamentally eliminate prejudice from our sport and live up to the incredible privilege we enjoy…The NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA should and can be leaders against discrimination. Whether you’re a commissioner, an athlete, a coach or a fan, your voice will let every kid out there know that there is a place for him or her in sports. We all can be ourselves and still compete with dignity and at the highest level.”

—From Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo‘s column for USA Today, End Homophobia in Professional Sports.”