Yes, football. The Super Bowl, in fact.
This Sunday, The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens will battle it out at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana for the title of Super Bowl XLVII Champions, though something much bigger is about to be won.
In August, the 49ers became the first NFL team to make an “It Gets Better” campaign video after openly gay fan, Sean Chapin, created a Change.org petition asking for the team to do so. With over 16,000 signatures, the 49ers took notice and made the video.
The Ravens, more specifically, linebacker Brendon Ayanbagejo made a big splash in the LGBT community recently, too. Ayanbagejo typed out his now famous “Jerry Maguire e-mail” at 3:40 a.m. the night after the Ravens beat the Patriots asking the founder of New Yorkers for Marriage Equality, Brian Ellner, what could be done to mesh the widely-watched Super Bowl game and anti-bullying and marriage equality together.
“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 said.
In 2010, linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, Scott Fujita, who had endorsed the National Equality March, tried to shed light on the issue during the Super Bowl, too. However, Tim Tebow was also involved with Focus on the Family, a Christian, pro-life group and Fujita’s cause didn’t create a big stir.
“I remember my support for marriage equality made a little bit of noise, because there just weren’t many guys in our business talking about this sort of thing,” Fujita said. “Fast forward three years and I feel like we’re in a different world. People are asking all the right questions and I’m so glad Brendon is going to be there with some answers. It’s just a new world.”
To have two teams from a sports community that is notoriously anti-gay support the LGBT community is huge. No matter who gets the championship title, this year everybody is a winner.