Thanks to his stand in support of gay rights — especially his backing of Maryland’s move to legalize same-sex marriage — the Ravens’ Brendon Ayanbadejo is about as well-known as you can get while being a backup linebacker who gets most of his snaps playing on special teams.
In an interview with FoxSports.com, Ayanbadejo was unwavering in his stance and proud to be, as GQ Magazine called him, an “Honorary Gay,” or as his teammates refer to him, the “Gay Ambassador.”
“It’s like being an honorary knight or an honorary Ph.D,” he said. “You belong to the club, but you’re actually not part of the club. … Actually, it’s an award I really embrace. I have broad shoulders. I know what it’s like to feel ridiculed. But at the same time, when people make fun of me, I know I’m on the right side of history. … I know when we look back at all these people who are against gay rights, it will be like looking at people who wore white for the Ku Klux Klan. That’s basically how I identify it.”
Ayanbadejo doesn’t claim to be changing minds in the locker room — but at least he and his teammates are talking.
“The crazy thing about the locker room is that it’s tied to the Bible and religion. A lot of guys, they can’t see past that. … A lot of people really fight me on it. It’s still a discussion I have possibly every day in this locker room where guys just completely disagree and won’t see past that. But on the flip side, dialogue is being made. With dialogue comes understanding. And with understanding comes acceptance. We’ve made strides.”