Gives Thanks

BY Advocate Contributors

November 16 2010 10:00 PM ET


Straight Allies Take the Field

Professional sports aren’t known for being particularly gay-inclusive, but player by player, progress is being made. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo first showed his support with a Huffington Post op-ed in 2009, and he continued pressing the issue in 2010. On the eve of playing in the Super Bowl for the New Orleans Saints, vocal gay rights proponent Scott Fujita (pictured) spoke with The Advocate about his and Ayanbadejo’s positions: “If Brendon’s like me, I don’t know if he’d consider what we’ve done all that courageous. We have strong feelings about equal rights, and to me, expressing those feelings isn’t courageous, it’s the right thing to do.” From the field to the rink, when French-Canadian sportscasters mocked out figure skater Johnny Weir for being too effeminate to compete against men at the 2010 Olympics, Dorothy Hamill was visibly upset—and said as much—on his behalf. Former basketball star Isiah Thomas and his son Joshua posed for the No H8 campaign in support of marriage equality in August, and internationally, Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and Sale Sharks rugby player Ben Cohen have both repeatedly expressed their support for gay rights. In September cricketer Jimmy Anderson took his support a step further—he stripped nude for the U.K. gay men’s mag Attitude.