Two prominent straight allies in the sports industry are making progress after being rejected for their alleged activism in the LGBT community.
Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe declined an invitation to the White House’s LGBT upcoming soiree while former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo announced his new job as an editor for an LGBT-themed sports newspaper.
“I’m extremely honored to be able to work with the Washington Blade,” Ayanbadejo said during a press conference. “I think through sports is the easiest way to reach a lot of people in a demographic that typically wouldn’t hear about equality and why it is so near and dear to us.”
LGBT issues in the sports industry have become a hot topic with the public outings of athletes Robbie Rogers and Jason Collins.
With Kluwe, he declined the President’s invitation in a humorous manner suggesting an F35 jet can pick him up in such a short notice. He added that it “seems an extremely unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars.”
“Dear Mr President (or whoever reads these things, I’m sure he’s probably pretty busy (hello underappreciated email answering person!)). I would really really REALLY like to be there, but unfortunately not even the President of the United State is allowed to supercede an NFL mandatory mini-camp practice (at least insomuch as I understand the new CBA, though I could possibly be mistaken),” Kluwe wrote.
“If anything else were to ever come up, it would be my distinct honor to attend. Unless we have a game. Or practice. Or mandatory hot yoga classes (we don’t really have those).”
Both athletes were dropped from their respective teams. Rumors circulated the cause was for their vocal LGBT advocacy.
In March, Ayanbadejo and Kluwe submitted an amicus brief pleading for the Supreme Court to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. They have also lent their support for Jason Collins’ coming out as the first openly gay athlete while criticizing players like San Francisco 49ers player Chris Culliver for his homophobic remarks.
After Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. scolded Ayanbadejo for an LGBT viral video, Kluwe defended him.
“I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster,” Kluwe wrote to Burns in 2011.
While Kluwe has been offered a position with the Oakland Raiders, Ayanbedjo is not currently playing with any team.
“Hopefully, I’ll be partnering up with the NFL later this month and doing some things with the NFL,” Ayanbadejo added. “I’ve already partnered with the [NFL Players’ Association], and we’ll be doing some things later this June.”
Both athletes continue to advocate for LGBT rights.