By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com June 10 2011 1:40 PM ET
Michael Strahan, the former defensive end for the New York Giants, and his fiancée, Nicole Murphy, have filmed a video in support of marriage equality for the Human Rights Campaign.
“As a defensive end for the New York Giants, I always played the game tough but fair,” says Strahan, now an actor and football analyst for Fox, in the video. “It’s unfair to stop committed couples from getting married.”
The former NFL star joins professional athletes Sean Avery from the New York Rangers and Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns in contributing a video to the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality Campaign. The campaign uses high-profile figures and everyday New Yorkers to urge viewers to lobby their lawmakers to pass the marriage equality bill before the legislative session ends on June 20.
One of the few African-Americans to join the campaign, Strahan spoke with The New York Times about his effort, saying, “I have plenty of gay friends, and I don’t judge them. I want them to have all the same rights I have, and all the opportunities I have to be in a relationship, a great relationship, with the person that they’re in love with.”
“If someone wants to look at it that way, if it makes someone who is African-American feel more comfortable and want to join and get behind it, that’s great,” he added. “I look at it as a human rights type of situation more than anything else.”
Strahan also said that he was unafraid of any professional consequences for taking a stand, joking that his employer, Fox, airs the show Glee.
“Michael Strahan is part of an ever-growing list of professional athletes speaking out for marriage equality. There are a lot of tough New Yorkers, but none tougher than Michael Strahan, one of the most feared and accomplished defensive ends in history. He's our Super Bowl champion for New Yorkers for Marriage.” said Brian Ellner, senior strategist for HRC in New York. “We are honored that he and his fiancée, Nicole, would join us in this historic fight for fairness. A vote could happen any day now, and we need all New Yorkers to let their voices be heard in support of marriage equality.”