Super Bowl Champ Brendon Ayanbadejo Issues Call to Action In USA Today Op-Ed
Athlete Ally’s Brendon Ayanbadejo takes his LGBT advocacy to another level today with a USA Today Op-Ed calling for all athletes to pledge support for the first openly gay player in men’s professional sports. The piece is available here.
Fellow NFL star Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe said: “I stand with Brendon and every other person, athlete and non-athlete alike, who says that discrimination in any form is not the legacy we will hand down to our children. I am proud to be an Athlete Ally, and I hope others will join us in treating all people with compassion, dignity, and respect. A gay player in sports is not defined by their sexuality, but by how they play, and I support any player who wishes to be him or herself with everything I have. Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Connor Barwin of the Houston Texans and latest NFL player to join the organization said: "A team achieves the most when every athlete respects one another. Supporting an openly gay player is a simple extension of that basic idea. Because of that and for many other reasons, I support and look forward to the first openly gay NFL player."
Former New York Ranger and Athlete Ally Board Member Sean Avery added: "Not only is Brendon a committed Athlete Ally, he's also smart to ask everyone to take the Athlete Ally pledge. There are so many stories out now about this issue. It was great to read recently that 22 out of 23 players on the Tampa Bay Lightning would accept an openly gay player. But we shouldn't have to wait for reporters to go around locker room to locker room asking this question. Everyone can and should make their voice heard by taking the Athlete Ally pledge."
Hudson Taylor, Executive Director of Athlete Ally says about the Op-Ed: "The Ravens won the Super Bowl relying on unbreakable unity and trust. It's those elements of a team that are completely compromised when athletes are forced into the closet. We applaud our Super Bowl Champion and Athlete Ally Brendon Ayanbadejo for making his voice heard."
Brian Ellner, who led the Campaign for New York Marriage and serves on the Athlete Ally Board of Directors, added: "Brendon's been amazing. First he carried LGBT rights all the way to the Super Bowl. And now he is reaching out to our Jackie Robinson. This sends a message to gay athletes around the globe that it's time to come out and that there are professional athletes ready to embrace them."