Letters: Same-Sex Marriage Support In The NFL

Audie Cornish reads emails from listeners about Minnesota Vikings player Chris Kluwe and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and their outspoken support of same-sex marriage.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. It's time now for your letters. But first, a clarification. Yesterday, we told you about the Senate race in Hawaii. It's traditionally a blue state, but former Republican Governor Linda Lingle is putting up a good fight against Democratic Congresswoman Mazie Hirono. In our story, some of you heard us use the word Hawaiian to refer to all who live in the state. But it turns out Hawaiian is not analogous to Pennsylvanian or Californian. In Hawaii, the word is generally reserved for those whose ancestry on the island pre-dates European settlement.

Now to your letters. Minnesota Vikings player Chris Kluwe, and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo have been outspoken in their support of same-sex marriage. In fact, a Maryland delegate urged the Ravens to silence Ayanbadejo for his vocal position. Enter Kluwe, who wrote a strongly worded letter, much of which we can't repeat on air, to that delegate for his, in Kluwe's words, vitriolic hatred and bigotry. The letter went viral and Wednesday, we spoke to both to both players. Ayanbadejo told us the reaction from his teammates and coaches has been encouraging, especially if you consider where it's coming from.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED AUDIO)

BRENDON AYANBADEJO: A sport that's known as a macho sport, known for, you know, for making gay slurs and whatnot. I'm glad to see a changing of the guard and people starting to broaden their horizons and accept equality really.

CORNISH: Erich Alejandro of Alhambra, California writes with this admission, I'm not a sports guy. In fact, I am ashamed to say that I am one of those people who thought that football players were, for the most part, meatheads. I have never been more happy to be proven wrong. Chris and Brendon are clearly intelligent, well-spoken men who are fighting for a great cause.

Leslie Machado(ph) of Menifee, California adds, I am the sponsor for a high school Gay Straight Alliance. I was touched by the interview with NFL players Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo. Actually it made me smile through my tears. The students have been through so much, and it will be wonderful to play this interview for them at our next meeting this Friday. Please keep your letters coming. Just go to npr.org and click on contact us.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: