Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo poses with Maryland state… (Steve Ruark / Associated…)
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe couldn't be happier with the states their teams represent following Tuesday's elections, as Maryland and Minnesota were among the three (and possibly four) that approved same-sex marriage.
“It's like I woke up and it's Christmas," said Ayanbadejo, who was very vocal in his support of the gay marriage ballot initiative that passed in Maryland by a narrow margin.
Same-sex marriage also passed in Maine, while votes on a similar initiative in Washington are still being tabulated. Meanwhile, voters in Minnesota defeated a ban on gay marriage, much to the delight of Kluwe.
Kluwe gained national attention back in September when the Huffington Post published his open letter to Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr., who had urged Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to stop Ayanbadejo from expressing his support for the Maryland gay marriage initiative.
While that letter was filled with sarcasm and profanity, a post-election piece by Kluwe published Tuesday on the Slate was overflowing with happiness and hope.
"There is work yet to be done, but we passed an important milestone today," he wrote. "Ten, 15, 20 years from now, when our children ask us, 'What did you do when it came time to fight for someone else?,' we can tell them about Minnesota and Maryland and Maine, states where people finally said: Enough."
Ayanbadejo was just as overjoyed.
“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.”
Not all of his Ravens teammates agreed with the outcome of the vote. Center Matt Birk recently wrote an editorial in the Baltimore Sun in opposition to same-sex marriage. He wasn't available to speak Wednesday, but safety Bernard Pollard was.
"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,” Pollard said.
But, he added, "I'm not going to treat anybody any different. I think anybody who knows me knows that. I'm going to love you just like I did. Whatever lifestyle you want to live, you're entitled to that. .... It's just that, for us, we've got to continue to live life and continue to pray.”
Election 2012: Sports figures on ballot post a losing record
Former Penn State president Graham Spanier is arraigned, out on bail
WWE's Linda McMahon spends $97 million on two U.S. Senate races, gets zilch