Ex-Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo says the announcement could be 'sooner than you think.'
A former Ravens linebacker says a group of players is considering coming out on the same day
Brendon Ayanbadejo, a former Ravens linebacker, says four gay NFL players may come out at the same time soon.
"I think it will happen sooner than you think," Ayanbadejo told the Baltimore Sun. "We're in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now and they're trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out."
Ayanbadejo said in an interview with the Baltimore Sun that coming out as a group will help reduce pressure on the players who may have considered making a statement alone.
"Of course, there would be backlash. If they could share the backlash, it would be more positive," he said.
The interview came after the Ravens released the linebacker from the team and has created buzz on SB Nation, HyperVocal and NFL.com. While rumors of players considering making the landmark announcement have been surfacing recently, nothing has been scheduled yet.
The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment from MSN News.
Stance on same-sex marriage
Ayanbadejo recently appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation," where he shared his view on same-sex marriage, saying, "We need to protect families by allowing same-sex couples to get married and also we need to protect religious freedoms because, in this country we allow people to practice religion or not practice religion. So, you need to keep the two separate."
When asked during an interview with Outside the Lines in 2012 why he is for same-sex marriage, Ayanbadejo said, "It's a matter of equality. I'm a product of a biracial family and one time that was not allowed. We are all about the family unit, building the family unit in America and making it stronger and also accepting equality worldwide. You can't tell somebody who they are allowed to love."
Promoting change in the NFL
Ayanbadejo is known for his outspoken support for the LGBT community and suggested he was cut from the Ravens because of his stance on gay rights, according to SB Nation.
After a backlash from fans he clarified his statement in the Baltimore Sun's interview, saying that he does not hold a grudge against the Ravens and has talked to the NFL about promoting LGBT sensitivity to new players at the rookie symposium.
"The NFL and organizations are already being proactive and open if a player does it and if something negative happens," he said. "We'll see what happens."
Former NFL players who came out
Former San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Kwame Harris confirmed he is gay to CNN in an interview that aired recently. Harris said he wished he would have come out while he was still playing for the NFL. (See interview)
Esera Tuaolo, a former defensive tackle, was in the NFL for nine years and said he toiled with coming out for many years, according to NPR. Tuaolo released a book "Alone in the Trenches" in 2007 about his life experiences.
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