Sep 12, 2012, 4:50 PM EDT
Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Tuesday to talk about the controversy surrounding his support for gay marriage (a Maryland politician thinks he should keep quiet about it).
During the interview Ayanbadejo came up with a rather surprising statistic. While he admits it’s just a guess, he estimates that “70 percent” of players in NFL locker rooms support the right of gay couples to get married.
He said most of those who still oppose it do so because of religious beliefs, but: “Even the players who are very religious, some of them understand that it’s a matter of equality and love, and they’re not going to let religion dictate government.”
Could Ayanbadejo’s estimate be true? He admits there’s no way of knowing for sure, but there are several NFL players who are on the record wit their support of gay marriage. In an excellent article at Outsports.com, writer Jim Buzinski found at least 27 of them. Excerpts from the list:
LaMarr Woodley (Pittsburgh Steelers): Though a fierce division rival of Ayanbadejo, the linebacker stood up for him when he was attacked by Burns.
Chris Kluwe (Minnesota Vikings): Kluwe created a media sensation with his letter ripping Burns. “If you find out your kid is gay, are you going to love him any less? Because if you do, then you’re probably not doing parenting for the right reasons.”
Ricky Jean Francois, Isaac Sopoaga, Donte Whitner and Ahmad Brooks (San Francisco 49ers): The four defensive players did an It Gets Better video against bullying of gay youth, the first NFL team to cut such an ad.
Matt Hasselbeck (Tennessee Titans): The veteran quarterback told Cyd Zeigler of Outsports: “Statistically, it’s a fact that any of us who played in the NFL for a period of time has played with a gay teammate. That’s just a fact. If somebody came out, I think it would be brave of him, because of what the culture has been. But I’m sure we all have.”
Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins): The rookie quarterback told Outsports that he once had a gay teammate in high school who quit the team because of it. What did Griffin learn from him? “Just because they’re gay doesn’t mean they’re hitting on you,” he said.
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