Baltimore Ravens linebacker, and equal marriage advocate, Brendon Ayanbadejo, shared his elation at waking up on Wednesday to find that Maryland voters had chosen to legalise equal marriage in the state.

The NFL player said: “I’m so stoked. It’s like I woke up and it’s Christmas,” after finding that equal marriage had passed at a ballot in Maryland, reported The Miami Herald.

The victory was announced early on Wednesday morning, and the measure was supported by 57.8% against 42.2%.

Speaking in the Ravens’ locker room, he said:

“It’s something I’ve been passionate about a long time,” he said. “Even though it doesn’t affect me directly, it affects a lot of my friends. It affects my family. It affects Ravens fans. It affects Marylanders. I’ve worked very hard on it; I’m especially proud of the Marylanders who went out and voted and made a difference.”

He conceded that not all of his teammates agreed with him, but said:

“The majority of the people got it right,” Ayanbadejo said. “Who cares what they think in the locker room? Who cares what they think anywhere? The people decided. People have to take heed and listen to what people are crying for and what they are wanting. The majority of people voted it in.

“It’s a done deal and we did the right thing. It took too long. It shouldn’t have been up to other people to decide other people’s fate as far as who they can marry. But we’re progressing, so I’m happy about that.”Mr Ayanbadejo has become renowned for being outspoken about his stance on politics. On President Obama’s re-election, Mr Ayanbadejo tweeted:

“I am so happy tonight I could cry. My kids will grow up in the age of equality for all and a great role model as president #americandream

Ayanbadejo’s happiness at the legalisation of equal marriage was not a sentiment shared by all of Mr Ayanbadejo’s teammates, however. Bernard Pollard, safety, said:

“When it’s all said and done, there are a lot of guys on this team that stand firmly behind what the Bible says – that a man marries a woman and a woman marries a man.”

Mr Pollard also expanded on what he thought about equal marriage law in the state:

“It shows you that people in high power are changing what was set for a very long time,” he said. “These are the principles, man, this is what life is about. But when it’s all said and done, they came in and changed it.

“I’m not going to treat anybody any different. I think anybody who knows me knows that,” he said. “I’m going to love you just like I did. Whatever lifestyle you want to live, you’re entitled to that. I think you are. It’s just that, for us, we’ve got to continue to live life and continue to pray.”

Brendon Ayanbadejo was previously involved in a controversy because he was criticised by a state delegate for speaking in favour of equal marriage.

Fellow NFL player, Chris Kluwe, quit his blog at an online daily newspaper due to an editorial published by the site’s editors which, he said, expressed an anti-equal marriage stance going against the political neutrality the site claimed to have.