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Ayanbadejo thinks Culliver’s words “pretty normal” in NFL

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Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo was nearly as popular a media target this morning as Chris Culliver.

But the long-time advocate of gay marriage said he’s not surprised to hear the homophobic message that landed Culliver in the spotlight this morning, and hopes that having apologized, Culliver can grow as a person.

Asked about Culliver’s initial suggestion that a gay player wouldn’t be welcome in the locker room, Ayanbadejo replied: “It’s pretty normal, it’s pretty normal behavior.”

Ayanbadejo has long preached a message of tolerance, and said Ravens teammates know there aere certain things they might think that they just don’t say around him. But he acknowledged that seeing Culliver under such scrutiny and being forced to apologize will do more to curb overt examples of exclusion than anything he can say from a positive perspective.

“I think in San Francisco, and being from the Bay Area myself, we really try to preach love and acceptance of everybody,” Ayanbadejo said. “I couldn’t really say anything negative to the young man. It’s just one of those things you have to live and you have to learn. In the words of Martin Luther King, ‘you can’t fight hate with hate, you have to fight hate with love.’

“We’ve all made our mistakes, we’ve done certain things and we’ve hurt people if we meant to do it or not. But more than anything, it’s an opportunity to have a learning experience. . . .

“We’ve kind of seen that happen this time. we just have to all learn from this mistake. He apologized, and hopefully he’ll learn. He’s in the Bay Area, so I think he’s going to learn and he’s going to grow and be a better person for it.”

The truth of the matter is, there are many players who believe the same thing Culliver said, he’s just the poor devil who got caught saying it.

The real question becomes whether the public shaming drives the issue further underground, and makes it harder for the league to accept an active gay player.

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17 Responses to “Ayanbadejo thinks Culliver’s words “pretty normal” in NFL”
  1. FinFan68 says: Jan 31, 2013 12:36 PM

    None of this garbage is newsworthy. People have different opinions and neither are wrong. It’s just that some people believe their opinions are correct and push them on others. That has been going on for centuries. The only difference is the topic of the day.

  2. gochargersgo says: Jan 31, 2013 12:47 PM

    The person interviewed in the article above and the person who was ranting on Twittera few weeks back sound like two entirely different people.

  3. azarkhan says: Jan 31, 2013 12:50 PM

    “I think in San Francisco, and being from the Bay Area myself, we really try to preach love and acceptance of everybody,” Ayanbadejo said.
    —-

    Translation: We only love and accept those who agree with our twisted philosophy 100 percent.

  4. idkid1980 says: Jan 31, 2013 12:51 PM

    I have to disagree with you on this FinFan68. There are so many ways in which this is an important issue. One reason is that if we follow the statistics of sexuality typically seen in this country, we know that there is a strong likelihood that gay men already play in the NFL. This is but one reason why it is important for players, teams, and the league need to continue to support the pro-LGBTQ movements. It is the responsibility of all involved to create a work environment free from harmful bigotry. We all deserve to work in a place where we feel comfortable to do our job, regardless of our differing opinions on certain issues. The NFL is no exception to this.

  5. blacknole08 says: Jan 31, 2013 12:52 PM

    Everyone deserves respect. I don’t agree with what Culliver said, but he shouldn’t have to apologize for it (in fact, he shouldn’t have answered it if he was going to apologize later), because that was how he really felt.

    As far as this issue being driven underground, there is no shame in being who you are. It is shameful though to judge someone for being different and treating that said person differently.

    And having an openly gay player might increase the already lucrative NFL business by drawing in a different demographic (think about — more woman are watching football nowadays, which would explain the increase in viewership over the years).

    With that said I hope that players wouldn’t treat a teammate differently because they are gay.

  6. wtfchiefs says: Jan 31, 2013 1:02 PM

    I just want to watch and read about football

  7. dbones750 says: Jan 31, 2013 1:03 PM

    I wish they were on opposite sides of the ball.

  8. commonsensedude says: Jan 31, 2013 1:11 PM

    This is the worst week of pre-Super Bowl media in history.

    Instead of talking about the game or the teams, let’s talk about divisive social agendas, unproven allegations and an unsolved crime from thirteen years ago. All the stuff that most of us don’t want mixed in with our football. I now actually miss those useless Roger Goodell press conferences.

  9. mi6agent says: Jan 31, 2013 1:12 PM

    The NFL should get blamed too for allowing radio-show hosts such as Artie Lange to conduct interview (press pass). He sounds like Howard Stern.

  10. raiderbeliever says: Jan 31, 2013 2:09 PM

    azarkhan says:
    Jan 31, 2013 12:50 PM

    Translation: We only love and accept those who agree with our twisted philosophy 100 percent.

    —————————-

    Yup.

  11. FinFan68 says: Jan 31, 2013 3:09 PM

    idkid1980 says:
    Jan 31, 2013 12:51 PM
    We all deserve to work in a place where we feel comfortable to do our job, regardless of our differing opinions on certain issues. The NFL is no exception to this.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I respect your opinion, however, your statement above seems a tad biased. If we ALL deserve to work in a place where we feel comfortable, wouldn’t that also apply to the other side of the proverbial fence? Why does the pro LGBT side deserve to be comfortable at the expense of the other side but the reverse argument is seen as hateful or bigoted? I personally don’t care about another’s sexual preference but the proselytizers on either side deserve the angst.

  12. uvmcatamounts says: Jan 31, 2013 3:10 PM

    “People have different opinions and neither are wrong.”

    Sorry FinFan86 but one side IS wrong. Is that what you would have said about interracial marriage? Neither side is wrong?

  13. hatesycophants says: Jan 31, 2013 3:27 PM

    Do you folks seriously not see the difference between a difference of opinion on this isssue and some tool referring to a group of people as “Sweet”?

    I love how right wing nuts are always playing the victim. On your way to defeat in the last election cycle, you have provided some pretty solid entertainment. Thanks!

  14. bigsuede says: Jan 31, 2013 3:30 PM

    It is sad that so many just rationalize hating gays away as – it is just their opinion.

    It was just the opinion of many people a couple hundred years ago that Blacks weren’t real human beings.

    Shame is a useful tool- it has been used to stop racism, and sexism- and it will be used to get ride of the hate towards gays.

    Sexual preference is not a choice- it is just how a person is- just like skin color- or the gender you are. It is not fair nor right to hate someone for how they were born.

  15. richc111 says: Jan 31, 2013 4:12 PM

    You know what my issue is with this is the word tolerant. this is the definition: Fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own. what I say now is people exchange tolerant for acceptance which is different. The definition of acceptance is: Favorable reception; approval. The thing is it is no longer ok to tolerate anything because what they really mean want is acceptance. Tolerance has been needed in all aspects of life and history, but when you make people adopt your beliefs that is not tolerance. you can be tolerant without being accepting, or at least you use to be able to.

  16. anarchopurplism says: Jan 31, 2013 6:59 PM

    Funny how it is acceptable for women to feel uncomfortable in a public shower or dressing room around men.

    Weird. I thought we were more “progressive”

  17. steelerben says: Feb 1, 2013 1:07 PM

    FinFan68 says:
    Jan 31, 2013 3:09 PM

    I respect your opinion, however, your statement above seems a tad biased. If we ALL deserve to work in a place where we feel comfortable, wouldn’t that also apply to the other side of the proverbial fence? Why does the pro LGBT side deserve to be comfortable at the expense of the other side but the reverse argument is seen as hateful or bigoted? I personally don’t care about another’s sexual preference but the proselytizers on either side deserve the angst.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    No one is saying that you have to go to a gay wedding. No one is saying that you have to open your home.

    What is being said is that making rash generalizations about an entire group of people is unacceptable. This isn’t about a difference of opinion. This is about removing the humanity from a group of people based on a common trait that is denounced because of “morality”.

    As far as having the “other side of the fence” feel comfortable… No one would suggest that you have to make the racists feel more comfortable during desegregation.

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