Super Bowl Champion Brendon Ayanbadejo, has said that he thinks it is more likely that a baseball player will come out sooner than anyone in the NFL.
Speaking to Erik Brady on USA Today, the equal rights campaigner said he thought that less of a connection between religion and baseball, compared with football meant that a baseball player was more likely to come out first.
In the US there is currently no openly gay player in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association or National Hockey League.
“I think it will happen in baseball sooner than in football or basketball,” he said. “The reason I say that is because I think there is less of a connection to religion in baseball. The religious roots are a lot deeper in basketball and football. With that being said, I think baseball players are more open minded.”
He did admit that he “could be wrong”, but went on to say that he thought baseball players were more “open-minded and not so tied to religion as much as football and basketball.”
The Baltimore Ravens linebacker said he thought the NFL was ready for an openly gay player, and said that the industry was “laying the foundation for a player to be comfortable and safe.”
Brendon Ayanbadejo also appeared outside the Supreme Court to rally in favour of equal marriage. The Human Rights Campaign tweeted a quote from the athlete which read: “‘In the end, love is always going to win the game’ -Brendon Ayanbadejo.
Chris Kluwe, a punter for the Minnsota Vikings, made the headlines in September when he defended Ayanbadejo against a call from Delegate Emmett C Burns Jr, to reprimand Ayanbadejo, who recorded a video for a gay rights advocacy group In October 2011.
Ayanbadejo previously said he hoped that homophobic comments by fellow NFL player, Chris Culliver would open a positive dialogue about gay players in the NFL, and in November, upon waking to find that Maryland voters had chosen to legalise equal marriage in the state, Ayanbadejo said it was “like Christmas”.
At the beginning of March Scott Fujita spoke out about the issue of a lack of gay players in professional sport, and said that he thinks it would “not be an issue at all” to have a gay player in the locker room.
Brendon Ayanbadejo, of the Baltimore Ravens, the team which won this year’s Super Bowl, and Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings, also wrote an amicus brief, and filed it, urging the Supreme Court to act against legislation preventing equal marriage.