NFL players who support gay rights

By Michelle McGuinness Getty Images: Peter G. Aiken
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Brendon Ayanbadejo

49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized Thursday after making anti-gay comments during Super Bowl Media Day. But plenty of NFL players have already come out in support of gay rights. See gallery

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has been a vocal supporter of gay rights. Ahead of the Super Bowl this year, he announced he planned to use the game as a way to reach out to activists and supporters. Previously, his support of same-sex marriage in Maryland prompted politician Emmett C. Burns Jr. to write to the Ravens' owner asking him to silence Ayanbadejo.

Related from MSN: Ravens' Ayanbadejo to promote gay rights via Super Bowl

Getty Images: Hannah Foslien
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Chris Kluwe

Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings might be the most famous punter in the league, and not entirely for his athleticism on the field. He wrote a scathing letter to politician Emmett C. Burns Jr., who asked the Ravens to silence Brendon Ayanbadejo after he came out in support of same-sex marriage. The letter quickly went viral and Kluwe has remained the popular face, and leg, of gay rights in the NFL.

Related from MSN: NFL player rips politician for anti-gay marriage views

Getty Images: Mike Ehrmann
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Antonio Cromartie

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie posed for the NoH8 campaign, which is designed to raise awareness of gay rights. Safety Bret Lockett, Cromartie's teammate on the Jets, joined him.

Getty Images: Rob Tringali
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Scott Fujita

Linebacker Scott Fujita, formerly of the New Orleans Saints and now playing for the Cleveland Browns, spoke out in support of gay rights in a 2009 Huffington Post interview, in which he said, "The issue of gay rights and equality should be past the point of debate. Really, there should be no debate anymore."

Reuters: Mike Stone
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Connor Barwin

Connor Barwin, a linebacker for the Houston Texans, told NFL.com that he has a gay brother and believes that tolerance will come to the NFL. Barwin said that the first player to come out as gay in the NFL will confide in friends and be accepted. He continued, "And people would just get to know he's gay and people will move on with football, the season and their life and realize it's not a big deal at all."

Getty Images: Jared Wickerham
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Donte Stallworth

New England Patriots receiver Donte Stallworth took to Twitter in 2011 to support gay rights. According to The Baltimore Sun, Stallworth wrote, "Sad that people are ridiculed for their sexual orientation in this age... and leave religion out of this, God loves ALL!!!"

Getty Images: David Dermer
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Trent Richardson

Trent Richardson was one of several incoming NFL rookies to say he'd support gay teammates, according to SB Nation. The Cleveland Browns running back said, "I don't have a problem with them. As long as they're playing good football and contributing to the team, I don't have nothing to do with that."

Sports Illustrated
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Robert Griffin III and other rookies

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III told Outsports he had a gay teammate back in high school and doesn't feel threatened by it. Griffin was among a group of rookies who talked to Outsports and expressed gay-friendly views. Those rookies included San Francisco running back LaMichael James, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin and Philadelphia Eagles back-up quarterback Nick Foles.

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