NFL Players Support Marriage Equality
September 21, 2012
It’s football season and while more and more popular music artists—and even Olympic athletes—continue to express their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, the realization that many National Football League (NFL) players support marriage equality is still a surprise to most people.
Just recently, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo have expressed their support for marriage equality, and they’re not the only two. Outsports.com, a website dedicated to writing about sports and athletes who are gay, has identified 28 current NFL players who have publicly stood up for LGBTQ people. And Ayanbadejo has been quoted as saying he is certain that more than half of the NFL community supports them, too. Many of these players have stated that they wouldn’t mind if their teammates were gay and what matters most at the end of the day is that they continue to work and play their best as a team.
Homophobia in sports culture has historically made it difficult for those who support LGBTQ equality to openly express their feelings for fear of being of judged or ridiculed. Hopefully, the fact that these NFL players are brave enough to express their support will influence other players who may hesitate to publicly reveal their support for marriage equality.
In an interview from Outsports.com, Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin probably said it best: “Times are really changing, and people are understanding that there’s really no reason to have an issue with [gay marriage]. Embrace who people love and how they love.”
Photo by John Loomis Photography