NFL player, Brendon Ayanbadejo, said he was congratulated by members of a rival team, during a match on Sunday, for his advocacy of equal rights, in particular his efforts in the recent battle over equal marriage.

The Baltimore Ravens linebacker said that, during a game against the Oakland Raiders, three players commended him for his work for LGBT equality.

He declined to name the three players, but speaking to TMZ, he said:

“Three Raiders congratulated me on working with and for marriage equality. I remember their names but I will keep that to myself.”

He also mentioned the ethnicity of the players, saying that was an important factor:

“Ethnicity-wise, it was two white guys and one black guy. Ethnicity plays an important part in this movement.”

Despite the fact that the battle for marriage equality has been won in the state of Maryland, Mr Ayanbadejo has said he will continue to fight for equal rights, and his home state, California, is next on the list.

When victory in Maryland was announced early last Wednesday morning, Brendon said: “It’s like I woke up and it’s Christmas.” The measure was supported by 57.8% against 42.2%.

In response to a critical fan who Tweeted: “If you focused on football half of the amount you focus on gay rights, you might just actually progress off the bench!”, Mr Ayanbadejo simply replied “3 probowls,” a reference to the fact that he had been selected three times for the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, a conference which features the top US football players.

Back in September, Mr Ayanbadejo appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, where he estimated that 70% of NFL players support equal marriage.