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Go Ravens

Timothy Kincaid

January 23rd, 2013

20130123-002348.jpgI haven’t been to a football game since college; my hometown, the nation’s second largest, doesn’t have a team. And as I find watching televised sports to be an exercise in frustration, I haven’t much cared about the NFL.

But this year I will be watching the Super Bowl, and not just for the commercials and half time show.

This year I will be cheering on a team, the one that Brendon Ayanbadejo is on. The Baltimore Ravens.

On Sunday night WeHo’s gay sports bar was packed with people wearing blue and purple jerseys. And when the night was over (long after I left) the Ravens had won a place in the SuperBowl.

And that night, a night of exhilaration for the underdog team, Ayanbadejo thought about his personal priorities and reached for his computer. (Times)

He tapped out an email to Brian Ellner, a leading marriage-equality advocate with whom he had worked before, and Michael Skolnik, the political director for Russell Simmons, a hip-hop mogul who has become involved in many issues, including same-sex marriage.

Ayanbadejo wrote: “Is there anything I can do for marriage equality or anti- bullying over the next couple of weeks to harness this Super Bowl media?” The time stamp on the email was 3:40:35 A.M.

Yep. I’m a fan.

Comments

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tim
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

So I’m a bit confused – players like Chris Kluwe have been advocating for same sex marriage for years and writing awesome editorials and only now you will watch a game because some seemingly random player wrote an e-mail?

On Sunday night WeHo’s gay sports bar was packed with people wearing blue and purple jerseys.

Seriously dude – leave the the ghetto once in a while. Please.

Ray
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Thank you, Tim, for taking the time to trivialize the moment.

Go Raven!

DN
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

So, you’re cheering for the Ravens because of Brandon Ayanbadejo’s supportive statements, but what about Matt Birk?

He’s the guy who made an anti gay marriage video that NOM shouted from the rooftops. Are you cheering for him, too? If the Ravens win, will you jump up and shout, “yay! Except for Matt Birk”?

If you’re cheering for a team of several dozen people because one player made some supportive statements, I don’t see how you can ignore the equivalently (at least) anti-supportive statements made by his *teammate.*

And as to Tim’s point – he’s right – what about Chris Kluwe? Not to diminish Ayanbadejo’s support by any means, but Kluwe has been a much more vocal supporter.

Donny D.
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Tim wrote,

Seriously dude – leave the the ghetto once in a while. Please.

What’s that supposed to mean?

MattNYC
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Matt Birk had his say and his side lost. This is AFTER the decision in Maryland and Ayanbadejo took the INITIATIVE to ask how he could speak out for teh NATIONAL cause. Frankly, I haven’t heard Matt Birk’s name even mentioned since he first spoke out. If he becomes a national spokesman for the NOMnuts tomorrow, I might re-asses. But Ayanbadejo goes far beyond what would normally be expected.

This doesn’t diminish ANYTHING that Kluwe has done–I’m not sure why anyone feels the need to compare two allies like that. But the fact is, Ayanbadejo still has a game to play–on the national stage–while Kluwe is decompressing from the season at home.

MattNYC
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

(besides, I’m no fan of the 49ers–strictly for football reasons ;)

DavidL
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

WeHo rooting against San Francisco? I’m shocked.

chiMaxx
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

And Chris Kluwe first stepped up to the plate on this issue publicly in defense of Ayanbadejo. So rather than being jealous or feeling left out, I would expect Kluwe is sending Ayanbadejo virtual high-fives and offering to help.

MattNYC
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

chiMaxx,

FYI, Kluwe was speaking out on this issue independently of–and I believe well before–Ayanbadejo.

But who’s counting? :)

Timothy Kincaid
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Yes, indeed, if Kluwe were in the SuperBowl, that would be a tough call who to support.

He’s not.

chiMaxx
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

If Kluwe was publicly speaking out about this issue before his infamous “lustful cockmonster” September 2012 letter to Emmet Burns in support of Ayanbadejo, he was so quiet about it that Google has as of yet still failed to pick up on it.

Timothy Kincaid
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

This may clear up the “who said it first” thing:

Ayanbadejo, who has been playing professional football for a decade, first publicly voiced his support for marriage equality several years ago, and says it was a much lonelier stand at the time. He drew insults. Derision.

But that wasn’t the case last year, when he landed in the news again. The legalization of same-sex marriage was being debated in Maryland, and Ayanbadejo made his endorsement clear, prompting a state lawmaker in the opposite camp to ask the owner of the Ravens to shut Ayanbadejo up.

Kluwe then rallied to Ayanbadejo’s defense, also taking up the cause of marriage equality, and the two became the center of widespread media coverage. This time around, the linebacker said, what he heard back from the public and from teammates was mostly laudatory, or at least respectful.

Though I do think Kluwe said with more flair and style.

The thing I love is that the management of the two teams supported Ayanbadejo and Kluwe. So I’m glad I don’t have to pick between the Ravens and the Vikings.

(and after the 49ers’ It Gets Better video they would have been my third choice though probably not enough to care much who won)

DN
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

And what of Matt Birk, Timothy?

Every time the Ravens score, will you cheer, “yay, Ravens! (except Matt Birk)” “Yay, Ravens! (except Matt Birk).”

Don’t you think that’s a dissonance, there? I would love to post links to Matt Birk’s video, and to NOM’s posts about Matt Birk, and to the NOM-promoted Damian Goddard video about how great Matt Birk is for being anti-gay, but I’ve had posts not go through when I include links.

Last week, you told me that having an opinion means necessarily that only-this-opinion-can-possibly-true, and you used sports teams as an analogy. So, following your analogy, why is this team, with a very publicly anti-gay member, earning your support?

It’s one thing to say that Brandon is awesome (and he is), but to cheer for an entire team of people because one guy is awesome?

Timothy Kincaid
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Last week, you told me that having an opinion means necessarily that only-this-opinion-can-possibly-true, and you used sports teams as an analogy. So, following your analogy, why is this team, with a very publicly anti-gay member, earning your support?

I have no idea what you are talking about.

And if you don’t want to support the Ravens, then don’t. I very much doubt that the Great Football Coach in the Sky is going to take either of our favorites into consideration and smite the opposing team with locusts (no matter what Tim Teboe’s fans may think).

Jim Burroay
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Good lord people.

“Lighten up, Francis.”

tristram
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

@ Jim B. – thanks – words snatched from my lips (fingertips).

And why aren’t we discussing the dispositive question on the subject of which team to root for – Which one has the hotter QB?

DN
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Yeah I didn’t think you’d address my point about Matt Birk. And I’m not going to bother pointing you to your comment to me last week about what it means to have an opinion.

My point is this: if you’re going to support an entire team of people because of their stance on an issue, you should have the intellectual honesty to examine the whole record. And in this case, Bradon Ayanbadejo has an offset in Matt Birk.

I’m all for supporting Brandon – but I’m not going to blithely overlook the record of his teammate. But as always, we find partial agreement on something: the Great Football Coach in the Sky doesn’t care about this discussion. Because he doesn’t exist.

StraightGrandmother
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Good grief ppl lighten up. Honestly!
Aranbadejo sent out an e-mail at 3:40 in the morning after winning a Super Bowl Birth inquiring how he could leverage this opportunity to help end Discrimination against sexual minorities, that is a hell of an indication of support.

Tim writes that although he is not a sports fan he will be rooting for the Ravens, and this is something we pick apart?

Let’s at least save our criticisms for something more controversial, something with more substance than this “upper” positive column.

Ryan
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

I think Kluwe and Ayanbadejo and every other football player who publicly supports gay marriage are great. I can’t say as I’d suddenly root for a football team just because a gay friendly person is on it, though. Reminds me of the Christians suddenly becoming Tim Tebow fans.

Priya Lynn
January 23rd, 2013 | LINK

“I can’t say as I’d suddenly root for a football team just because a gay friendly person is on it, though.”.

I would.

Michael C
January 24th, 2013 | LINK

In a few years when most everybody will support full and equal rights for gays and lesbians, am I going to have to become a fan of everything?

:(

chiMaxx
January 24th, 2013 | LINK

Having more than one open advocate of gay equality in pro football–something unimaginable when I was a kid and people talked of the “shame” of Dave Kopay–this is something to celebrate.

Sure there are still Matt Birks and Tim Tebows around–but there was a time when that’s all there was in pro football, and anyone who thought differently stayed quiet for fear of being accused of being unmanly.

Not a sports fan myself, my heart is lifted by the likes of Brandon Ayanbadejo, Chris Kluwe, and Ben Cohen (different sport, same cause), a rolling ball of hotness giving gay kids hope and showing boy athletes by example that standing up for gay kids is cool and manly and shit. This is a good thing in the world.

Rick L.
January 24th, 2013 | LINK

The ’9ers were the first NFL team to release an “It gets better” video. Have the Ravens? – Not yet.

Priya Lynn
February 4th, 2013 | LINK

“The ’9ers were the first NFL team to release an “It gets better” video. Have the Ravens? – Not yet.”.

And two of the 49′ers that made that video have since denied doing it because they didn’t make no gay rights video. Also the 49′ers Chris Cullver stated that there was no room for gays in their lockeroom and any closeted players better stay that way:

http://www.truthwinsout.org/news/2013/01/33070/

Clearly it was god’s will that the Raven’s win rather than the homophobic 49′ers. I’m still a little disappointed though, I was hoping for a wardrobe malfunction during the halftime show.

Priya Lynn
February 4th, 2013 | LINK

Dan Savage has removed the 49′ers “It gets better” video from his web site – the first time that has ever happened:

http://www.truthwinsout.org/pressrelease/2013/02/33086/

Robert
February 4th, 2013 | LINK

DN-

I would rather we rally behind the team with 2 less vocal anti-gay players than the other. I guess you didn’t see the meltdown recently of three of the 49′ers.

Rick L-
I’d rather support the team that did not make an “IGB Video” than the team that said theirs wasn’t supposed to be in support of the gays, but just against bullying in general. And whose video has since been removed from the video project for that very reason.

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