It does happen... (via Slate)
In an event so remarkable that most of the sports press still doesn’t seem to know what to make of it, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo spoke out a few weeks ago in support of a Maryland ballot initiative that would legalize gay marriage. To quickly recap what happened next: Maryland State delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. wrote to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti requesting “that you take the necessary action, as a National Football League Owner, to inhibit such expressions” and that Ayanbadejo “be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions.” Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe responded to Burns in a scathing open letter that quickly went viral: “I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level.”
Ayanbadejo’s stand would have been notable coming from any professional athlete. But in this case, coming from a player at the most macho position –linebacker — on pro football’s most macho team — the Ravens — in America’s most macho sport, it was positively courageous. And not only did it not elicit a negative reaction from other NFL players, but one of them, Kluwe, stood up with Ayanbadejo.
(hat tip to Sara)