With the election season in full swing, former UCLA football players, and current NFL players, have taken a stance on gay marriage, and they’re defending it with extreme passion.
First, the main name in this story, UCLA linebacker (through 1999) — and current linebacker for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens — Brendon Ayanbadejo was trending on Twitter in Los Angeles for his strong stance on allowing gay marriage. Here’s a tidbit, from USA Today:
“I’d have to thank him more than anything for bringing national attention to the issue,” Ayanbadejo said Friday.
The Ravens defender has long been one of pro sports’ most vocal athletes for same-sex marriage rights in the U.S. In a letter dated Aug. 29, 2012 and addressed to Ravens owner Steve Biscotti, Emmert C. Burns Jr., a democrat in the Maryland House of Delegates, writes that Ayanbadejo should be silenced.
“I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo, would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Ravens football player,” Burns writes.
Basically, Ayanbadejo has been known to be an advocate for same-sex marriage and social equality. He did so passionately enough to piss off Burns, who ironically is a democrat (the world is so weird), forcing Burns to tell the Ravens’ front office to keep the dude’s mouth shut.
So who comes to Ayanbadejo’s defense? Yep, UCLA kicker (through 2005) — now with the Minnesota Vikings — Chris Kluwe. And he did so in a very aggressive, smart, and calculated letter, which he must have CC’d to Deadspin (because Kluwe is a Deadspin regular). Here’s some quotes worth mentioning (note: NSFW):
If gay marriage becomes legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you’ll start thinking about penis? “Oh shit. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!” Will all of your friends suddenly turn gay and refuse to come to your Sunday Ticket grill-outs? (Unlikely, since gay people enjoy watching football too.)
I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster.
You have to read the entire gosh damn letter, because all of it is compelling, incredibly moving and terrifyingly hilarious.
Now, we know politics can be a sticky issue, and gay marriage is a hot debate. And although I have my own opinions on this issue (I won’t tell you here, but hit me up on my personal Twitter account if you’re curious), the important thing to note is that, again, UCLA has proven to produce students and athletes that not only are great within their own field, but seek to use their influence to effect change and make a difference, not something that can be said of any school.
So applaud your Bruins, not for their beliefs, but for the cajones it took to stand up for what they believe in.