Brendon Ayanbadejo, a supporter of marriage equality and LGBT rights who was released last week by the Baltimore Ravens, indicated that more than one gay player in the National Football League will be coming out and soon. Following a report on CBSSports.com that a gay NFL player is “strongly considering” coming out, Ayanbadejo agreed. He told the Baltimore Sun, “I think it will happen sooner than you think. We’re in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. 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.”
Asked if there would be a backlash, Ayanbadejo responded, “Of course, there would be backlash. If they could share the backlash, it would be more positive. It’s cool. It’s exciting. The NFL and organizations are already being proactive and open if a player does it and if something negative happens. We’ll see what happens.”
Last week a story surfaced in which Ayanbadejo appeared to suggest to a Newsday reporter that his release from the Ravens was caused, in part, by his advocacy for LGBT causes. He later distanced himself from that comment and thanked the Ravens organization for its support. “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,” he said.