Every once in a while, you get a story that makes you hopeful about the future of human rights in our country. Lately, these have been more and more, signaling the inevitable change that is to come. This latest story of triumph involves an NFL player by the name of Brendon Ayanbadejo who spoke openly of his view that gay marriage should be a legal right for same-sex couples. Normally, one might not expect football and gay rights to meet on common ground. As far as I remember my school years, the football players were the ones most prone to beating up the gay kids in class. It goes to show that even those stereotypes are fading away.
Following his statement, Ayanbadejo was immediately set upon by Maryland politicians, his team being the Baltimore Ravens. One went so far as to contact higher channels within the NFL and attempt to get the player censored. But that particular politician didn’t bet on solidarity coming from within the organization and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell came forward in defense of the Ayanbadejo. He said, in essence, that players were going to speak their minds on what they believed and that he wasn’t going to be the one to tell them to shut up just because they said something that a politician didn’t want to hear associated with his football team.
In addition, Ajanbadejo’s fans and teammates also stepped forward to support him. No one protested or got enraged at the statement, instead voicing their support loudly. One individual even went so far as to write a very strong letter to the politician in question telling him in a rather uncensored manner to shove off.
It’s nice to see the gay rights struggle receiving support from an arena where one might not expect it. It’s a sign of the times, as those who oppose gay rights are slipping away and people are embracing the future. Now only if all celebrities in all areas could be as bold as to step up and say something, we might be able to speed this process along.