Monday Night Football
Brendon Ayanbadejo calls athletes to stand for marriage equality
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Former Baltimore Ravens reserve linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo called on professional athletes Tuesday to stand up for marriage equality because he said it is "the right thing to do."
Ayanbadejo took his support for gay marriage to South Florida, where his career started with Miami in 2003 and where he has lived for the past decade.
"We are calling on everybody across all spectrums of sports," he told a news conference in Fort Lauderdale, where he was joined by the civil rights organization Equality Florida.
"I think the star power, especially with athletes, allows us to hit a demographic. ... I think this allows us to have our voice reach a little bit deeper to people who wouldn't normally hear our message."
The 36-year-old Ayanbadejo said he had a "bigger calling than football" and this was it.
"I have a chance now to help so many more people than I did while in football."
An open proponent of gay marriage, Ayanbadejo spoke in favor of it in November, before Maryland passed a law allowing it, and also prior to the Super Bowl. He also recently spoke at a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court.
He was cut from the Ravens earlier this month and initially suggested the roster move stemmed from his controversial stance. He has since backed off that position and said the team has supported him since he began talking about equality in 2009.
"They said go ahead and use your platform," he said. "And not only did that make the Ravens look good and also we won the Super Bowl, but also it's a good example for other teams in the NFL as well."
Earlier this month, he told The Baltimore Sun that up to four NFL players may soon come out as gay. He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that a group of athletes were in touch with equality organizations and "we are just trying to facilitate them so they can have a support group amongst each other."
Ayanbadejo, who said he is not gay, said he is a product of biracial parents who would not have been able to marry in the '60s in several states.
"It's personal, but I equate it to equal rights, and a lot of people can't see it that way," he said of gay marriage.
The National Football League has not aligned itself with any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender organizations.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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How to Celebrate NFL Matches
The National Football League (NFL) has been around for many decades. The teams have undergone changes over the years. Initially, there was the AFL and NFL. They joined together in the 1970’s. There was a conflict of interest as the two organizations were competing to the same fans as well as capture the media attention. When they joined forces, the name retained was the National Football League or NFL. With time, American football has evolved and become one of the most known in the world. NFL matches are very interesting. You have a choice to pick the team that you like most and support. You can have all round fun by planning for parties as you watch and cheer on your favorite team. This gives you a cheerful mood and you can have a real good time as you watch the match.
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You can have posters of your favorite players to make the environment feel interesting and attached to the football. You can get t-shirts or jerseys of your best players. They are easily available from the local sports stores. If you have kids, you can get those toys from the NFL collection. You can have a good time with everyone who attends if you take your time to create a likable environment that is filled with football interest.
You can have the delicacies and drinks that you want in the celebration but you can also have fun betting on the NFL. Some of the persons who are present will support the other team. You can place bets and make money as you have fun. You should be ready to cheer the teams and make as much noise as you can. Even if your team loses, you should look forward to the next match.
You can get all the accessories that you need for the NFL matches from their site. You can place an order online. You should get the colors right to make the celebration more realistic. However, you should not overlook the fact that your teams can either win or lose.