He part of the last Bruin team that won 20 straight games and went to the Rose Bowl. He always had strong ideals about his convictions and wasn't afraid to bring it into his sports life as he was one of the main guys who organized players wearing black arm bands, that became one of the many unfortunate subplots of December 5, 1998. He has also taken a courageous stand for equality in Maryland and is now coming under fire from ignorant state officials. From Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports:
He's [Brendon Ayanbadejo] written columns for his hometown paper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel. He's fought for federal legislation requiring schools to monitor kids' physical activities and promote proper nutrition. He's worked relentlessly on environmental sustainability issues.
And, of late, he's been a major advocate of same sex marriage, which was legalized in Maryland earlier this year but faces a ballot initiative in November.
It's that stance, and Ayanbadejo's actions in support, that found him under the wrath of a local pastor and state house of delegates-member Emmett C. Burns Jr. (D-Baltimore County).
Burns went nuts last week, firing off a letter on Maryland House of Delegate letterhead to Ravens owner Steven Bisciotti seeking action against Ayanbadejo.
"I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Raven Football player," Burns wrote in the letter first obtained by WBAL-TV. "Many of my constituents and your football supporters are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens Football Team would step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or the other.
Wetzel does the work here in terms of blasting this ignorant attack on Brendon from Burns. So I don't really need to pile on.
What I do think is worth mentioning is that Brendon makes all of us proud. Let's give a thunderous eigh-clap to Brendon from all of us at BN.
UPDATE [N]: As noted by AHMB in the comment thread fellow Bruin Chris Kluwe stood up for Brendon by clowning the ignorant state official from Maryland:
1. As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom. By using your position as an elected official (when referring to your constituents so as to implicitly threaten the Ravens organization) to state that the Ravens should "inhibit such expressions from your employees," more specifically Brendon Ayanbadejo, not only are you clearly violating the First Amendment, you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain. What on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person's right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit.
2. "Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and excitement." Holy fucking shitballs. Did you seriously just say that, as someone who's "deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland"? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you're going to say that political views have "no place in a sport"? I can't even begin to fathom the cognitive dissonance that must be coursing through your rapidly addled mind right now; the mental gymnastics your brain has to tortuously contort itself through to make such a preposterous statement are surely worthy of an Olympic gold medal (the Russian judge gives you a 10 for "beautiful oppressionism").
3. This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage, in any way shape or form, affect your life? If gay marriage becomes legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you'll start thinking about penis? "Oh shit. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!" Will all of your friends suddenly turn gay and refuse to come to your Sunday Ticket grill-outs? (Unlikely, since gay people enjoy watching football too.)
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. They won't even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population-rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?
We got nothing except to say BRAVO Chris.