Editors and publishers of the Washington Blade and the Bay Area Reporter, an LGBT newspaper in San Francisco, announced this week the terms of a bet for their respective teams playing in Sunday’s Super Bowl championship in New Orleans.
READ ABOUT THE BET FROM THE BAY AREA REPORTER’S POINT OF VIEW HERE
If the Ravens win, BAR will send the Blade staff a lunch of dungeness crabs and a $1,000 donation to the local LGBT charity of the Blade’s choosing. If the 49ers win, the Blade will send BAR’s staff a lunch of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs and a $1,000 donation to a San Francisco LGBT charity of BAR’s choosing.
“When Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, the Patriots won the Super Bowl. When New York legalized marriage in 2011, the Giants won the Super Bowl. In 2012, Maryland passed marriage equality, so it’s our turn,” said Blade editor Kevin Naff, who lives in Baltimore. “Go Ravens!”
The Bay Area Reporter, founded in 1971, is among the oldest LGBT newspapers in the nation, along with the Washington Blade, which was founded in 1969. Both San Francisco and Washington — which is about 35 miles from Baltimore — have prominent and active LGBT communities. Both were home to two of the best known American LGBT activists in history, the late Harvey Milk in San Francisco, and the late Frank Kameny in Washington.
“We are very enthused about this bet on the Super Bowl between the 49ers and the Ravens,” Bay Area Reporter publisher Thomas Horn told the Blade. “This continues a Bay Area Reporter tradition begun in 2010 when the San Francisco Giants played the Phillies in the National League Championship series. That was between the Bay Area Reporter and Philadelphia Gay News, and we won. Then in the World Series, we bet The Dallas Voice. Again the San Francisco team and paper won. We are hoping to keep this streak alive with the Super Bowl this year.”
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was an outspoken same-sex marriage advocate during last year’s fight to preserve at the ballot Maryland’s law extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. According to the New York Times, just hours after his team defeated the New England Patriots to clinch the American Football Conference championships on January 21, Ayanbadejo was strategizing with leading New York marriage advocates about how he could use one of the world’s most watched television programs to raise visibility for the fight for LGBT equality.
According to the Times, Ayanbadejo wrote at 3:40:35 a.m.: “Is there anything I can do for marriage equality or anti- bullying [sic] over the next couple of weeks to harness this Super Bowl media?”
For their part, the San Francisco 49ers themselves have broken new ground in the past year in terms of LGBT inclusiveness, becoming the first NFL team to contribute to the “It Gets Better” project.
“The Washington Blade and the Bay Area Reporter have been the longest LGBT-serving newspapers in America,” Horn continued. “We are each an important part of the fabric of our local communities. And that includes sports. Go Niners!”