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Changing The Game: UFC Fighter And Two NFLers Speak Out In Support Of Marriage Equality
March 12, 2013
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Three professional athletes, one from the UFC and two from the NFL, have stood up and pledged their support for same-sex unions.

And how's this for a call to action: "I am a heterosexual guy in a tough macho sport, which is exactly the reason I feel a duty to say I support gay marriage and gay rights."

That quote is from Rashad Evans, former UFC light heavyweight champion. He recently issued a statement to Outsports in support of same-sex marriage.

Evans writes "it's not enough to not be against a minority, if you want things to go better for them you have to speak up with them."

He also talks about how his kids inspired him to speak out. He writes that he doesn't want his children to grow up "in a society where they, or their friends, could be second class citizens based on which person they fall in love with or who they want to be happy with."

"What people overlook is that it isn't a sex issue, it's a love issue. There's no justifiable reason for trying to get in the way of two people who love each other," Evans writes.

As well as sharing his views with Outsports, Evans has joined two NFL players in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn bans on same-sex marriage, Yahoo! Sports reports.

Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo issued a legal brief to the Court, which Outsports says Evans has also signed.

The brief opens with a comment on homophobia in pro sports.

"For far too long, professional sports have been a bastion of bigotry, intolerance, and small-minded prejudice toward sexual orientation, just as they had been to racial differences decades earlier," it says.

From there, it argues that professional sports play a big role in shaping public opinion, for better or for worse, and that athletes have the power to influence young people's opinions.

So why would two professional athletes petition the Supreme Court to change their stance on gay marriage?

If the Court changes its position, Kluwe and Ayanbadejo argue, it will "cause a ripple effect as even more people follow their role models, their leaders, their heroes."

Athletes, the brief says, pay attention to the decisions of the highest court in the U.S. like everybody else, and will be influenced by the Court's ruling.

Mixed martial arts was in the news back in December when the UFC announced a milestone: the organization fielded its first openly gay fighter, Liz Carmouche.

She challenged Ronda Rousey, the UFC's first female champion, in February.

Via The Atlantic Wire

Related:

The UFC Crowns Their First Female Champ And Introduces Their First Openly Gay Fighter

AHL Hockey Team The Peoria Rivermen Take The 'You Can Play' Pledge To Help End Homophobia In Sports

Gay Bowler's Victory Kiss Broadcast

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