Superbowl Champion and 3-Time-NFL-Pro-Bowler Brendon Ayanbadejo Discusses Gay and Black Rights on Black Hollywood Live's Network

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NFL Superstar Brendon Ayanbadejo stops by Black Hollywood Live for an exclusive interview on BHL Athletes. Ayanbadejo discusses his NFL career, life after football, family, former teammates, Gay Rights and supporting Obama.

People kind of get it twisted like ‘Oh he must be gay’ or ‘Maybe he has a gay relative’ or something like that. No, this is all about equal rights.

Los Angeles, CA, October 4, 2013 - NFL Superstar Brendon Ayanbadejo stops by Black Hollywood Live for an exclusive interview on BHL Athletes. Ayanbadejo discusses his NFL career, life after football, family, former teammates, Gay Rights and supporting Obama.

Brendon Ayanbadejo, a former Baltimore Raven and member of the Super Bowl XLVII Champion team, is a man who understands both the pain of discrimination and the gain of personal joy that comes from embracing an unwavering belief in equal rights for all. The 3 time NFL Pro-Bowler is known as much for his prowess on the gridiron as he is for his resolute devotion to champion the right for gay couples to legally wed. Ayanbadejo states, "People kind of get it twisted like ‘Oh he must be gay’ or ‘Maybe he has a gay relative’ or something like that. No, this is all about equal rights. There's no such thing as Gay, no such thing as Black rights, there’s no such thing as women’s rights. There’s rights, and there’s no rights”.

After playing 13 seasons of professional football, he is ready to bring his momentum as a Super Bowl champion to spread the word of equality throughout the county, stating, "Nothing will ever quite quench that thirst of playing football, but I’m very happy, some guys, ya know once they’re done, you kind of see a spiral, but I’m in a great place, I’m very happy”.

Ayanbadejo’s passion for LGBT rights stems from the monumental 1967 ban on miscegenation laws. Born 9 years after the ban, in Chicago on September 6, 1976 to an Irish-American mother and a Nigerian father, Brendon was taunted over his parents’ right to be married, and this harsh bias left its mark. After living in Nigeria during his early years, Brendon returned with his family to Chicago, and grew up in the Lathrop Holmes housing project. He spent his adolescence in Santa Cruz, California, having the unique experience of living in an “LGBT friendly” college apartment building where his step-father was employed as a building director. These experiences greatly contributed to Brendon’s accepting view of diverse lifestyles. Today he sees the fight to legalize same-sex marriage as the 21st century version of the fight for racial equality, and he has thrown himself into the battle for equal rights with a relentless determination towards educating everyone (including athletes). Ayanbadejo says, “For such a manly sport that football is, a lot of football players are scared, scared of Gay people…it’s like the elephant being scared of the mouse, ya know so its kind of ridiculous”.

Ayanbadejo wants to people to stop fearing homosexuality. On the subject he says, “I think more than anything just an education needs to take place. People just need to understand look ‘You’re born Gay, just like you’re born Black, just like you’re born Asian, whatever ethnicity you are, you’re born that way, and let’s be accepting, let’s continue, let’s move on".

In addition to fighting for gay rights, he is a huge Obama supporter. He states,“Right now the big issue is the Affordable Care Act, healthcare for everybody”. “I think the most important thing to do is talk about prevention, once you’re doing something, it’s already too late, so it only makes sense that ya know if you want to avoid health problems especially as you get older, you got to work out and you got to eat right”.

His journey has also led to a new career path. “[I] Signed my deal with Fox Sports, finished my MBA, and then bought into a franchise in the Bay Area and in Los Angeles County, Orange Theory Fitness… I’m excited to be able to bring fitness to the masses”.

Black Hollywood Lives' Athletes, hosted by former professional NCAA athlete Thaddeus Massey, airs live Fridays and is available for download the next day on iTunes and BlackHollywoodLive.com. Black Hollywood Live is the world’s first online broadcast network dedicated to African American entertainment news. BHL programming features inside information, insightful commentary and in-depth interviews with Hollywood’s biggest stars and influencers.

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Derrial Christon
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