Baltimore Ravens' Brendon Ayanbadejo on Marriage Equality, Matt Birk, Pro-Gay Players

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has always been about equality. But now he's got more NFL players agreeing with him than ever before.



Ayanbadejo family, from left: Brendon, Anaya, Brendon Amadeus, and Natalee


What do you think about how the NFL management handled the replacement referee situation?
I thought it was awesome. It just shows how amazing our country is and how things can work. The owners tried to make a power play by getting replacment refs from other areas. Now you even have less ground to stand on, but all it did was get them the solid pillar to get the deals done. They were getting refs from all over the place, and they saw how subpar some of the refs were — some were from NCAA Division III, Division IA — and they couldn't handle it. The NFL game is so fast, they just couldn't handle it. Plays happen quickly, the game moves fast, the plays get overturned fast. And it wasn't the refs' fault. It was the NFL's fault. So it was just awesome that they got the real refs back, and it was awesome that the referees got what they wanted. We want the best refs, we want the best players, and we want the best product on the field, and we got that. The whole situation was totally the American way of doing things right. I just loved the way it all played out, with a culmination on Monday Night Football. I was just really happy about it.

Your kids are incredibly adorable, by the way. I know they're fairly young, but are they politically aware yet?  
I know they're definitely aware, just from the TV shows we watch and the people that we know and hang around. My daughter is 7 now. We'll be watching TV, and she'll ask, "Why are two girls holding hands?" or, "Why did two boys just kiss?" and I'll say, "Well, everybody's different. Sometimes, some people fall in love with someone that's the same sex as them. That's just the way the world is, and it's perfectly OK."

Tags: Sports