Venerable men’s magazine GQ has named football players Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe as 2012’s honorary gays, and rightfully so. As GQ noted, LGBT folks found unlikely allies in “this year’s surprise hothouse of social liberalism: the NFL.”
Brendon Ayanbadejo’s support for marriage equality by donating a pair of Baltimore Raven’s tickets to gay-marriage fund-raiser sparked a firestorm of debate, fanned by embarrassing Maryland lawmaker Emmett C. Burns, Jr. who lambasted the linebacker for opening his big mouth.
Nonetheless Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe leapt to Ayanbedejo’s defense, penning a hilariously vulgar letter to Burns. In a joint interview, the studly NFLers discuss how it all transpired and the eventuality of an openly gay player:
Ayanbadejo: A few days after the story broke, I’m in the cafeteria eating lunch, and I turn around, and it’s our team president. And he goes, “I just want to let you know, we support you.” Before that, it popped in my mind for a second, like, man, this might not be good. But the Ravens, they stepped up to the plate.
Kluwe: I was online, and I saw the letter from Burns. I was like, “Wow, that’s really messed up.” I literally couldn’t fall asleep, because I kept thinking about it.
Ayanbadejo: I was in the locker room when I heard about Chris’s letter. I saw a line from it in a tweet: “They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster.” I was like, “Oh, my God, I need to focus all my attention on this. I’m going to lock myself in a room, and I’m gonna enjoy every moment.” Over the next few days, I had conversations with five to ten of the [Ravens players] about what had happened. I asked them if they could play with a gay player. Everybody was like, “Yeah, I totally could.” So that was pretty impressive. It shouldn’t be impressive, but it was.
Kluwe: The first player to come out is going to face unprecedented media scrutiny. It’ll be historic. It’s gonna have to be someone tough enough to deal with the distractions. And hopefully he’ll know that not just me and Brendon but other players support him.
Ayanbadejo: Eventually it’s gonna happen. This is the natural evolution. I call it the Jackie Robinson player—the guy who’s going to cross the line and come out and be our Jackie Robinson.
Congratulations, gentlemen. Today, you’re both honorary cockmonsters.