Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo's public support for marriage equality is good for sports and is winning him many gay fans, says Outsports editor Jim Buzinski at the Washington Post. Buzinski is editing a pro-con conversation around Ayanabadejo at WaPo's NFL blog and linked to Rod 2.0's coverage several times.
"It calls a lie to the "dumb jock" stereotype and shows they are engaged in the world beyond the locker room. But there is a downside for politically active jocks, especially on controversial social issues like gay marriage. Tony Dungy became Public Enemy No. 1 among the gay readers on Outsports when he headlined a 2007 fund-raiser for the Indiana Family Institute, a political lobby that is against gay marriage. The Prop 8 anti-gay marriage amendment in California in 2008 brought forward the same feelings. Jeff Kent, then with the Los Angeles Dodgers, gave $15,000 to defeat gay marriage, while Jacques Cesaire of the San Diego Chargers was featured an anti-gay marriage rally in San Diego. Gay fans I know instantly wished serious injury on both. On the other hand, Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Ravens is a new gay fan favorite for his pro-gay marriage stance...his nipple ring doesn't hurt."
The opposite POV: Author and sports lawyer Nahan Whitaker says players should "watch what they say" and should "give some thought to what their employer's position might be."
Whitaker never suggested Brady Quinn or Jeff Kent should have asked permission to express their conservative views. Whitaker might just have a problem with gay rights: He is the co-writer of Uncommon, the memoir written by Coach Tony Dungy, well known for his social conservative views against gays.