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By: Jase Peeples
Whether they’re talking about welcoming gay players in the NFL or lending their support in the battle for marriage equality, these are the 12 sexy studs of professional football who aren’t only pleasing to the eye, but also make us proud to call them allies.
The sexy Super Bowl-bound Ravens linebacker has made LGBT equality a personal mission. He routinely speaks out on behalf of LGBT rights, wrote a pro-equality op-ed for The Huffington Post in 2009, and was active in Maryland’s successful effort to enact marriage equality in the state last year. Today he continues to fight the good fight and hopes a Ravens win on Sunday will land him a seat next to Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show. “That’s my ultimate goal after the Super Bowl,” Ayanbadejo told The New York Times. “To go on Ellen’s show, to be dancing with her, to bust a move with her.”
Yes, Brendon is a rare breed indeed – and we love him for it.
The fine Falcons’ defensive lineman openly talked about his gay buddies and welcoming gay players in the NFL during a recent interview. “I’d be very open to it," he said about playing with a gay teammate. "I actually have a lot of friends who are gay. It’s fine with me. I don’t have a problem with it at all.”
The insanely hot Eric Decker knows gay men check him out just as much (if not more) than women do… and he doesn’t mind one bit. In fact, when he was recently crowned World’s Hottest Athlete by Out Sports, he happily tweeted about it. How many NFL players would proudly boast about being desired by fans of the same sex?
When Out Sports asked 49ers running back LaMichael James how he’d feel playing next to an out gay teammate he responded with a simple and effective answer. ““I don’t really care. As long as they help us win on Saturday and Sunday, what they do between them is their business.”
The Colts’ rookie tight end recently made it clear he wouldn’t give another teammate’s sexuality a second thought. “I’m very comfortable with it,” he told Out Sports when asked about the idea of playing with a gay teammate. “As long as they competed on the field and gave it their all in practice, that’s all I care about.”
The beautiful Buffalo Bills’ rookie receiver recently told Out Sports he sees LGBT equality as a civil rights issue. “You can’t discriminate. It’s just like black, white, same thing. You wouldn’t discriminate against my race, just like I wouldn’t discriminate against your sexuality.”
Chris Kluwe, one of the most outspoken and supportive players in the NFL, doesn’t understand how anyone can oppose LGBT equality. For him, joining the fight for human rights was simplicity itself. “It’s all about the Golden Rule,” he told Out magazine. “Treat other people as you want to be treated. It’s that simple. It’s something that needs to be spoken about, and it’s something I can do while fulfilling my job as a football player.”
The loveable linebacker has said he’d prefer to play with an out gay teammate than one who remained in the closet. “Actually, I would like it better [if a teammate came out],” Spikes said in an interview with Out Sports. “Because I like to be transparent. If it’s something that’s close to your heart, everybody should be transparent about it. You may not agree with what everybody does in life, but you can respect it. And as long as you can respect everybody’s individual beliefs, then you can move on down the line. They know where you stand, and you know where they stand. And at the end of the day, that’s all you have is respect.”
Wilson is one of the many NFL players who represent a new generation of athletes who say they would welcome an out gay player and don’t see any reason a teammate’s sexuality should be an issue. “At the end of the day, when you’re one of the guys in the locker room, you’re one of the guys,” Wilson told Out Sports. “As long as you can stay productive and get the job done, you’re still gonna remain one of the guys. At the end of the day, your personal preferences have nothing to do with your productivity when it comes to the playing field.”
The Adonis-like athlete as gone on record saying he would totally be cool playing with a gay teammate. “If that’s how they are, that’s how they are,” the Patriots tight end told Out Sports. “I mean, we’re teammates so, as long as he’s being a good teammate and being respectful and everything, that’s cool.”
It’s no secret Barwin is passionate about LGBT equality. He’s openly spoken about the pride he has for his gay brother on several occasions and told Out Sports, “Times are really changing and people are understanding that there’s really no reason to have an issue with [gay marriage]. Embrace who people love and how they love.”