Baltimore LB Cites ‘Traits’ Of League’s Players, But Still Supports LGBT Rights
Brendon Ayanbadejo, the Baltimore Ravens linebacker who made headlines for his outspoken public support of gay marriage earlier this year, says there are “not as many gay people in the NFL as there are in the regular population”, in an Outsports interview published this week.
By Nathan James
Ayanbadejo, whose remarks in favor of gay marriage were highlighted in The Last Barrier, a NBC/Comcast documentary of gay players in big-league sports, was the subject of an angry letter to the NFL from Maryland Delegate Emmett Burns, in which the legislator scorned the athlete’s commentary.
Now Ayanbadejo, no stranger to controversy, says a gay player coming out in the NFL would have to overcome “certain traits NFL players have, and don’t have.” Elaborating on this, the Ravens star observes, “If there’s a negative thing about NFL players, we tend to be angrier [than ordinary people]. We clearly have higher testosterone, because you have to, genetically, to play the game. With that,” Ayanbadejo suggests, “comes bipolar disorder, split personality, and other things.”
Because of these conditions, Ayanbadejo believes the presence of gays in the league is “minute”, putting it at no more than “3 percent, if in the general population it’s 7 percent.” Although he is certain there are some gay players in the NFL, coming out is another issue. “Are we ready to hear that? Is [a player who comes out] going to be comfortable with that?” Ayanbadejo thinks the time is not yet, “because of society and the way things are”, but reaffirms his position that “people are born gay. It’s a natural phenomenon.”
The NFL has reaffirmed Ayanbadejo’s right to support gay marriage in public comments, dismissing Burns’ request that the league censure the player.