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With Supreme Court hearing this week, Ayanbadejo, Fujita continue push for gay marriage

Ayanbadejo Getty Images

So much for sports figures steering clear of potentially controversial topics.

A handful of NFL players have embraced the issue of gay marriage, and as the constitutionality of California’s ban moves this week toward formal consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court, two of them have made the case on high-profile platforms.

Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo appeared Sunday on Face the Nation to explains that, in his view, gay marriage provides the next frontier in the battle for equality.

“This is something I’ve been speaking about since 2009,” Ayanbadejo said, via Politico.  “In my opinion it’s just the evolution of civil rights and equal rights.  Athletes do a lot to change society and this is something we can make a big difference.  It starts with bullying and kids in elementary school and goes all the way to the legislative, and treating everybody equally. . . .

“This is a fight that myself and a bunch of my colleagues want to take on and we feel like everybody should be treated equally.  We’re not going to stop until everyone is treated fairly.”

Free-agent linebacker Scott Fujita made the case for acceptance in a New York Times op-ed.  Fujita also addressed the question of whether athletes should be involved in controversies of this nature.

“[W]e’re people first, and football players a distant second,” Fujita wrote.  “Football is a big part of what we do, but a very small part of who we are.  And historically, sports figures like Jackie Robinson, Billie Jean King and Muhammad Ali have been powerful agents for social change.  That’s why the messages athletes send — including the way they treat others and the words they use — can influence many people, especially children.”

Of course, some people will never be influenced.  But many could be, and those are the persons to whom Ayanbadejo, Fujita, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, and others are directing the message of equality and acceptance.

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43 Responses to “With Supreme Court hearing this week, Ayanbadejo, Fujita continue push for gay marriage”
  1. reidstinks says: Mar 25, 2013 7:56 AM

    Of course athletes, musicians and actors should speak out. They are people and citizens of this country first and foremost. I don’t hear right wingers telling Ted Nugent to shut up.

  2. benroethlisberger7 says: Mar 25, 2013 7:57 AM

    This decision will set the stage for the future.

    Steeler Nation believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. We stand fully behind the values of the Bible. You should too.

  3. steelerben says: Mar 25, 2013 8:02 AM

    benroethlisberger7 says:
    Mar 25, 2013 7:57 AM
    This decision will set the stage for the future.

    Steeler Nation believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. We stand fully behind the values of the Bible. You should too.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I know you’re just a troll. And I shouldn’t feed the trolls.

    But.

    Let it be known this guy doesn’t speak for all of us.

  4. sschmiggles says: Mar 25, 2013 8:07 AM

    Steeler Nation believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. We stand fully behind the values of the Bible. You should too.
    __________________________

    Keep your book to yourself.

  5. jdrew506 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:14 AM

    Hey Ben are those your knuckles dragging across the floor as you waddle to towards a woman with a club to make her your wife?

  6. marker84 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:16 AM

    Benroethlisberger7 what does the bible say about forcible restroom encounters?

  7. bostoncommon says: Mar 25, 2013 8:20 AM

    Ummm, I don’t know whether to give thumbs up for fantastic sarcasm or thumbs down for being against equality for people not like you (I’m assuming). I’m leaning towards the sarcasm…..but since I can’t be sure I’ll keep my thumbs to myself. If it’s the former consider yourself with a thumbs up that doesn’t show, and vice-versa.

  8. raiderredleg says: Mar 25, 2013 8:22 AM

    Yes…Jackie Robinson, Billie Jean King and Muhammad Ali were all been powerful agents for social change.

    But use their names with Ayanbadejo, Fujita, and Kluwe (aka the Three Amigos) in the same “breath” as far as being powerful advocates for social justice is pretty silly.

    A vet minimum guy, a guy who has been a Free Agent for LONG time and a punter (A PUNTER for Pete’s sake!) who might not get another job if he got cut by his current team.

    Hint: GM’s want specialists who are specialists with JUST their feet NOT their feet AND mouths…That’s partly why Lechler is now with the Texans and probably won’t have a job very long if he shoots his mouth off like he did towards the end of his Raider career.

    Anyway…I have my personal preference on how SCOTUS should rule, but no matter what the court decides this will still be a great county, Tim Tebow will still be an average to below-average NFL QB, AND Ayanbadejo, Fujita, and Kluwe will still be full of horse poop .

  9. steeelfann says: Mar 25, 2013 8:23 AM

    Ridiculous

  10. steeelfann says: Mar 25, 2013 8:24 AM

    No such thing as ho-mo sexuals getting married.
    It is a sacrament. Sorry.

  11. vikingbp says: Mar 25, 2013 8:28 AM

    Jackie Robinson, Billie Jean King, Muhammad Ali……Scott Fujita? One of those names doesn’t belong with the others.

    It’s a good cause and all but comparing himself, his cause, or the plight of the gay man to Jackie Robinson, what he went through, or the plight of the black man is ridiculous on more than one level.

  12. hater79 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:31 AM

    Can you guys keep your left wing politics off the sports news please? I know it may be hard to actually try to be unbiased, and keep your own views on things out of your sports reporting, but please try. Between this and your many fawning articles over Obama doing something that can linked Kevin Bacon style to sports, it is kinda annoying. I would say this even if you were posting right wing thoughts as well. I turn on sports to get away from politics, not to have it shoved in my face here as well.

  13. godzilla111111 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:33 AM

    And this has what to do with football?

  14. bartlettruss says: Mar 25, 2013 8:35 AM

    A better question is whether one should use one’s football site to constantly peddle social agendas.

  15. fwippel says: Mar 25, 2013 8:36 AM

    This isn’t supposed to be a blog about gay marriage. But considering that those who run this blog obviously support it, they feel free to keep putting these stories up here. Kind of like Peter King thinking that people care about his take on politics in his MMQB columns (NOT!)

    Sorry guys. If I want to read / blog about gay marriage, I won’t do it here.

    Either stick to your topic (preferred), or at least keep athletes who disagree with these two equal time (won’t happen).

  16. metalhead65 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:36 AM

    sure they have the right to speak up but their opinion means no more than mine. I love all we are for tolerance the tree huggers preach as long as it agrees with their view. if you dare disagree then you are a right wing nut job that needs to be silenced. as far as athletes influencing kids that only goes so far, they can preach all they want but when they become teenagers they do what they want. don’t drink and don’t do drugs are positive messages but do you think a kid is going to turn down a beer or a joint at a party because their favorite athlete says not to? not likely and as far as bullying goes the big kids will always pick on the weaker ones no matter the lectures or classes to stop it. the only way you stop it is to fight back even if you get your butt kicked or somebody bigger stands up for you. and no matter what you say marriage us between a man and a woman. call me all the names you want but it will not change my opinion.

  17. hater79 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:41 AM

    Repeated articles about how awesome Obama is….check

    Repeated articles about how the Redskins team name is offensive and racist….check

    Repeated articles about gay marriage and linking it to the freaking civil rights movement even though every state in the country allows civil unions….check

    Meanwhile this is a freaking sports blog, why the F are you writing about political crap?
    Why don’t you guys just rename this website the ProFootballTalkDemocrat

  18. paulz624 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:41 AM

    I love how these two guys can support this and it’s considered wonderful cause it’s something they BELIEVE in and everyone is praising them, but, if a couple players came out and said they don’t support it cause they don’t believe in it everyone would be condemning them and saying how ignorant they are are ( Matt Birk) this country is going down the toilet.

  19. patfic15 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:42 AM

    Hey Politics! Stay out of my football!

  20. steelerfan2 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:42 AM

    Speak for yourself and not the whole Steeler Nation…true acceptance is love of the game and the team! Let people be true to themselves and free to express that however they choose.

  21. hater79 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:47 AM

    I almost feel sorry for anyone that is right wing. They try to go to watch a movie, they have left wing viewpoints shoved in their face by every actor or TV show they watch. They try to tune in to sports or read up on sports news, and left wing reporters shove their viewpoints in their face there as well. What is truly hilarious about this is that the entire time the left wing people in America shove their views in everyones face, they constantly whine how the right wing people are the ones doing it with their bibles or their archiac views.

    Meanwhile all I ever see anyone that is right wing in America do is lose elections.

  22. vexey says: Mar 25, 2013 9:04 AM

    Regardless of their ability or stature as athletes, I think it’s fantastic to see them speak out on issues they’re passionate about. Too many people are scared to these days.

  23. ebrownwareagle says: Mar 25, 2013 9:13 AM

    All I’m saying is I never Seen Gays get Lynched, Hung, Water hosed, beaten and attacked by Dogs by the hands of the Police and white people for being who they are… So people please STOP comparing the Plight of Gays to that of Black America!! NOT even in the same Ball Park!

  24. jikkle49 says: Mar 25, 2013 9:28 AM

    I’m tired of all these celebrities who speak out on issues and somehow think their opinion is worth more than my own or anyone else on planet Earth.

    And when it comes to Robinson, King, and Ali they were effective for social change because they actually lived the issues that they and many others went through.

    Since Scott Fujita or Brendon Ayanbadejo aren’t openly gay players that have to live with the hardships that come along with that I really don’t care what their opinion is one way or another.

    I mean you guys have an opinion on something so good for you I guess? You want a high five or something?

  25. kenstabler says: Mar 25, 2013 9:31 AM

    Totally gay. No way you take a position like this unless your trying to change peoples minds about yourself. I think he takes a lot of positions, just not the right ones.

  26. joetoronto says: Mar 25, 2013 9:37 AM

    Just get rid of these two idiots, they aren’t worth the bother.

  27. thatswhatimsayin says: Mar 25, 2013 10:10 AM

    i didn’t even know Ayanbedejo and Fujita were dating. Aaahhh, young love

  28. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 25, 2013 10:15 AM

    Once upon a time women weren’t allowed to vote or hold much of any job other than teacher for employment.

    When I was a child there were still many states that banned interracial marriage.

    When I was a child there was still segregation in some states and African Americans were not allowed to eat in the same restaurants or stay in the same hotels among many other limitations.

    In WW II African Americans were initially not allowed to fight, and certainly not be pilots. When they were allowed to fly the Tuskeegee Airmen had many aces and were the only fighter unit to escort bombers into Nazi occupied Europe that NEVER had a bomber under their protection shot down. No unit of white fighter pilots could say that.

    For each one of these changes, the world was going to come to an end if women were allowed to vote, African Americans, Asians or anyone else was allowed to marry a different race, etc etc.

    This is no different. There will be no impact in society except people long deprived of rights will finally be given them.

  29. icecubeusedtobeangry says: Mar 25, 2013 10:20 AM

    I can care less about who marries who, lets get back to some professional football talk. Thanks!

  30. jdrew506 says: Mar 25, 2013 11:03 AM

    So Eve was made from Adams rib which makes them what? Brother/sister, father/daughter? Does that mean incest is ok according to the bible?

  31. uvmcatamounts says: Mar 25, 2013 11:46 AM

    Does everyone commenting know that you can choose NOT to read the article? Take some PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY you right wing nuts. Stop playing the victim card about the lamestream media. Buncha whiners.

    Marriage equality is inevitable and there are a lot of people commenting here that are on the wrong side of history. Hillary ’16

  32. wayomaz says: Mar 25, 2013 12:04 PM

    Can we please just get football news on this site? There are plenty of other sites to debate political issues. We get it, you are some of the 94% of media types who grade out as uber-liberal. That’s fine, but please just stick with sports here.

  33. greysolon says: Mar 25, 2013 12:05 PM

    It’s telling how they never talk about what they are really trying to do. The case has NOTHING to do with bullying or “acceptance” of children.

    They want to change the definition of marriage but never say so.

    You want to protect children? Promote actual marriage. Promote fathers being fathers. Social science has repeatedly shown that traditional marriage is by far the best thing for children and that single parent and gay parents are much worse for children.

  34. bigoldred says: Mar 25, 2013 12:06 PM

    uvmcatamounts says: Mar 25, 2013 11:46 AM

    Does everyone commenting know that you can choose NOT to read the article? Take some PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY you right wing nuts. Stop playing the victim card about the lamestream media. Buncha whiners.

    Marriage equality is inevitable and there are a lot of people commenting here that are on the wrong side of history. Hillary ’16

    A sure sign of a weak intellect is name calling as a form of debate. There are a million places to debate this issue, but let’s keep it to football here.

  35. cuda1234 says: Mar 25, 2013 12:19 PM

    Last I checked, gays and straights have EXACTLY EQUAL marriage rights.

    So let’s be honest in the conversation. This isn’t about EQUAL rights, its about SPECIAL rights – for a very small segment of the population. We’ll never have an honest debate about this if we don’t start with the truth.

  36. cuda1234 says: Mar 25, 2013 12:20 PM

    More importantly, what does Tim Tebow think? Isn’t that what matters most on this site?

  37. stevent92 says: Mar 25, 2013 12:41 PM

    Gays are allowed to marry under the law, they just choose not to participate due to their orientation/preference. There is no denial of “civil rights.”

    This is not about “equal rights” it is about “special rights” with re-definition.

  38. greysolon says: Mar 25, 2013 1:25 PM

    Less than 2% of Americans are gay. Out of that, probably 1/4 of them want to “marry” their partner. So we are going to change the definition of marriage to suit 0.5% of the population?

    This is called cultural decline.

  39. CKL says: Mar 25, 2013 1:35 PM

    It’s weird that they don’t try to get an actual gay (former)football player on board with this, like Esera Tuoalo. Wouldn’t that give their cause more weight?

    Bullying is wrong and should be dealt with but I don’t get why there’s such hypersensitivity to it these days. Kids bully other kids for the dumbest reasons imaginable, always have, always will. Fat? check. Red hair? Check. There’s nothing “sacred” about being gay as a reason for bullying, as far as bullying it’s just the DIFFERENT part the kids pick on.

    That’s one reason I respect guys like Shariff Floyd. The kid was a total wreck, crap home life, no one his age liked him, even teachers picked on him, but he triumphed over all that and could now beat the bleepity bleep out of any of those morons. Instead he’s a good dude with a great future ahead of him, while all those idiots who trashed him are in his dust.

  40. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 25, 2013 2:56 PM

    I’d prefer that football players didn’t look at the Lombardi as anything other than a trophy.

    Butt its a free country.

  41. revskip says: Mar 25, 2013 4:03 PM

    I remember when “right wing” meant people who stood for staying out of peoples bedrooms and believing in equality and fighting for smaller, less powerful government. The party of Lincoln and so forth.

    Somehow that got flipped on its head sometime after Barry Goldwater and now the “right wing” are the people most interested in what goes on in peoples bedrooms and in creating more laws to keep people from just living their lives and having basic equality, be they gay or otherwise.

    Sad really.

    Hope the Supreme Court does the right thing and strikes down Prop 8, but even more than that I hope the “Right” remembers what its original principles were.

  42. wayomaz says: Mar 25, 2013 7:05 PM

    Oh, look, once again the moderators are so pathetically scared of anyone asking them to stay focused on reporting football instead of their politics, whatever they may be, that they keep deleting good posts to the contrary. Just stick with football, scardy cats.

  43. devidisi says: Mar 26, 2013 3:48 PM

    This issue is being pushed to the forefront by a very small number of gay activists. Let’s not put this ahead of the economy, which is growing at 1.7% per latest report. We are basically in a permanent recession. I have no problem with gay marriage. It is not a civil right. Let people vote for it on the state level. Let’s not call someone a bigot because of their religious beliefs.

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