What's buzzing:

Shutdown Corner

Ravens’ Brendon Ayanbadejo wants to use Super Bowl platform to stump for gay rights

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

View photo

.

(USA Today Sports Images)

Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo hadn't even slept after Baltimore's AFC championship game win over the Patriots when he started sending emails asking how he could help promote gay rights at the Super Bowl.

According to the New York Times, at 3:40 a.m. on Monday, Ayanbadejo sent emails to Brian Ellner, a marriage-equality advocate, and Michael Skolnik, political director for Russell Simmons, a hip-hop magnate who is a supporter of gay rights and marriage equality.

“Is there anything I can do for marriage equality or anti-bullying over the next couple of weeks to harness this Super Bowl media?” Ayanbadejo wrote, according to the Times.

It's not often a person has the exposure provided by being a player on a Super Bowl team, and now that Ayanbadejo's mission has been made very public, expect him to get a lot of opportunities to discuss his cause.

[Also: Nuggets' Kenneth Faried and his mothers speak out for gay rights]

Here's what Ayanbadejo, who is in his 10th season, told the Times:

“It’s one of those times when you’re really passionate and in your zone,” Ayanbadejo said, according to the Times. “And I got to thinking about all kinds of things, and I thought: how can we get our message out there?”

Ayanbadejo and Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe have both been vocal advocates for same-sex marriage. In the Times' story, Ayanbadejo explains that he grew up around gay people in a liberal society and "discrimination was never allowed." He admits that not all of his teammates agree with his stance, but he said he has gotten more support than when he first supported the issue several years ago. He said his dream is to go on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show after the Super Bowl to discuss the issue some more.

"He understands that as a straight biracial player in the Super Bowl, he can have a huge impact on the future of this issue," Ellner told the Times.

[Also: Ray Lewis, Ravens avoid Lombardi Trophy before Super Bowl]

While Ayanbadejo has a job to do with the Ravens, preparing for a championship game against the 49ers, he also feels he has a social responsibility to bring awareness to the cause of gay rights. That won't take away from his job of preparing for the game, any more than the stupidly goofy antics of the jokesters at media day will take away from any other player's focus.

It's a courageous and unique stand Ayanbadejo will be taking in New Orleans next week. He'll certainly have a great opportunity to get his message across.

More Super Bowl coverage from Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
Buy Super Bowl XLVII tickets | Buy Super Bowl XLVII merchandise
Tattoo artist living his dream with the help of Colin Kaepernick as his canvas
NASCAR superstar Danica Patrick's new beau is a fierce rival

View Comments (4443)
  • I was frozen out at Real Madrid, says Khedira

    Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira has accused the La Liga club of freezing him out by dropping him from the team after talks on a contract extension broke down even though he was fit to play. Germany international Khedira, who joined Real from … More »

    Reuters - 40 minutes ago
  • Mourinho regrets saying there was a 'campaign' against Chelsea

    Mourinho regrets saying there was a 'campaign' against Chelsea

    Jose Mourinho regrets using the word "campaign" to describe how he felt Chelsea were treated this season but still believes they were harshly treated by officials and media, British newspapers reported on Saturday. Despite Chelsea having cantered … More »

    Reuters - 42 minutes ago
  • Suarez out of Barca's final La Liga outing of the season

    Suarez out of Barca's final La Liga outing of the season

    Barcelona forward Luis Suarez has not recovered from a hamstring strain and will be rested for the champions' final La Liga game of the season later on Saturday as a precaution. The Uruguay international picked up the injury in Barca's semi-final, … More »

    Reuters - 51 minutes ago
  • Vettel posts fastest time ahead of Rosberg in 3rd practice

    Vettel posts fastest time ahead of Rosberg in 3rd practice

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest time in the third and final practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday, finishing ahead of Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton on Formula One's demanding street circuit. … More »

    AP - Sports - 56 minutes ago
  • Vettel fastest in final Monaco practice

    Vettel fastest in final Monaco practice

    By Alan Baldwin MONACO (Reuters) - Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel broke the Mercedes stranglehold on the Monaco timesheets with the fastest lap in Saturday's final practice for the showcase race. The German, four times a world champion with Red Bull … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 23 minutes ago