Tags: gay | nfl | players | ayanbadejo

Four Gay NFL Players Could Come Out on Same Day, Claims Brendon Ayanbadejo

Image: Four Gay NFL Players Could Come Out on Same Day, Claims Brendon Ayanbadejo NFL linebacker and gay rights advocate Brendon Ayanbadejo.

Friday, 05 Apr 2013 12:59 PM

By Michael Mullins

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As many as four NFL players could come out of the closet on the same day in the not too distant future, according to former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo.

The revelation came during a Friday morning interview with the Baltimore Sun, in which Ayanbadejo, an outspoken gay rights advocate who was cut from the Super Bowl winning Ravens during the off season, dismissed the the notion he was released from his contract due to his stance on gay rights.

Special: Should the Supreme Court Legalize Gay Marriage? Vote in Urgent Poll.

"I think it will happen sooner than you think. We're in talks with a handful of players who are considering it," Ayanbadejo said. "There are up to four players being talked to right now and they're trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together."

"It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out," Ayanbadejo added.

Acknowledging the potential for backlash against those players from teammates and fans who are not tolerant of gays, Ayanbadejo continued, "If they could share the backlash, it would be more positive."

The issue of sexual orientation in the NFL has gained media attention in recent months.

In February, the NFL launched an investigation into allegations that team scouts had asked a prospect about his sexual orientation when considering whether or not they would draft him.

In the complicated relationship hoax that ensnared Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, rumors swirled the entire scandal was way for Teo to cover up his sexuality. The future NFL linebacker says he is straight and claims he was a victim of the prank.

After Ayanbadejo was cut from the Ravens, there were some who felt the team's decision was based on his support of same-sex marriage.

"The Ravens have been backing me, they knew my stance for years and have been facilitating me and organizing me with LGBT and set me up with Equality Maryland. They helped me," said Ayanbadejo. "If they didn't like what I was doing, they would have cut me a long time ago."

Ayanbadejo, who is married and has one daughter, has long been a strong proponent of same-sex marriage.  

"I think we will look back in 10, 20, 30 years and be amazed that gays and lesbians did not have the same rights as every one else," he wrote for in 2009 Huffington Post Blog. "How did this ever happen in the land of the free and the home of the brave?"

Special: Should the Supreme Court Legalize Gay Marriage? Vote in Urgent Poll.

The 36-year-old Ayanbadejo is biracial, with a Nigerian father and white American mother. Prior to the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage, his parent's union would have been illegal in several states. He has cited that as one reason for his strong stand on gay marriage.

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