By Edward Lee
3:32 PM EST, January 25, 2013
Brendon Ayanbadejo doesn’t need Super Bowl XLVII to assist the cause for gay rights and gay marriage. But the Ravens inside linebacker won’t turn down the opportunity during the week in New Orleans to champion the push for equality.
Ayanbadejo, who contributed to Maryland passing an initiative to legalize gay marriage in November, was peppered about using the lead up to the Super Bowl as a platform, but he pointed out that he doesn’t really need to seek the cameras or recorders.
“Organically, it was going to happen anyway,” he said after Friday’s practice. “You guys are here, you’re talking to me mostly about marriage rights and equality in Maryland, but there are still 47 or so states that don’t have it passed, and it needs to be passed federally. Why not be the person to carry that message not only to the United States, but to the rest of the world? Obviously, the whole world is watching, it’s a message of positivity, it’s a message of equality, and it’s a chance to get it out. It’s not going to affect the way I play football, but it’s going to affect a lot of people’s lives off the field.”
Ayanbadejo has generated a lot of interest off the football field. He said he has an invitation from Ellen DeGeneres to appear on her talk show after the Super Bowl. Music mogul Russell Simmons is planning to collaborate with Ayanbadejo on a blog in the offseason, and several lawmakers in New Orleans have requested a dinner with the linebacker to discuss about the matter.
Ayanbadejo said he doesn’t have a plan to do something drastic during Media Day on Tuesday. He said he’s just going to be honest and truthful if approached by reporters.
“You guys are all going to come to me, and I’m just going to deliver a message of equality and love, and that’s about it,” he said. “Like I said, to me, it’s important that everything come to fruition organically. It’s a huge platform. I’m going to be there, you guys are going to be there. So we’ll talk about it.”