By Eric Zanzucchi (@ericzanzucchi)
Recently Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has come under criticism not for his play on the field, but his thoughts on gay marriage. Ayanbadejo is a gay marriage supporter who filmed a video for Equality Maryland and wrote an article for Huffington Post stating his views.
At this point, you might think that the criticism came from fellow players. However, the criticism came in a letter from a Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly, Emmett C. Burns Jr.. In the letter Burns calls Ayanbadejo’s actions “inconceivable” and insists that the Ravens organization silence him.
I could care less what Ayanbadejo’s thoughts on gay marriage are, but I like that he’s done this for a different reason. He’s fighting against the assumption that all football players are homophobic. People immediately assume that just because someone is a professional athlete, construction worker, cop, or simply a heterosexual that they must be homophobic when in most cases nothing could be further from the truth.
As proof of what I’m saying multiple players came out (not from the closet but) to support Ayanbadejo, including LaMarr Woodley and Chris Kluwe. In addition, the Ravens organization and the NFL Players Association have stated that they will respect Ayanbadejo’s right to Freedom of Speech. So I have to congratulate Ayanbadejo for striking a victory for misunderstood heterosexuals everywhere, who are quite possibly the real victims in all this.