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NFL’s Brendon Ayanbadejo Looking to Use Super Bowl Hype to Promote Gay Rights

by Sergio N. Candido
Thursday Jan 31, 2013

Baltimore Ravens' Brendon Ayanbadejo, one of the most vocal players supporting gay rights in the NFL, is looking for ways to promote marriage equality using the Super Bowl media attention his team is getting.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, the football player said he had a sort of epiphany one night around 3 a.m., which made him realize he had to use the opportunity to promote equality.

His team is set to go head to head with the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 2 for the Super Bowl.

"It's one of those times when you're really passionate and in your zone. And I got to thinking about all kinds of things, and I thought: how can we get our message out there?" he told the Times.

So he sent an email to LGBT advocate Brian Ellner, and Michael Skolnik, political director for hip-hop demigod Russell Simmons, to explore ways to promote the cause.

Ayanbadejo and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe are two of the most vocal advocates for gay rights in the sport.

The Ravens' player said that his appreciation for the gay community started at an early age, when his stepfather was the resident director of an LGBT dorm at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Ayanbadejo and his family lived there.

"I was raised around gay people in a very liberal society," he said. "Discrimination was never allowed."

He hasn't revealed any plans to promote LGBT rights during the Super Bowl yet.

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