Scott Fujita (One More Reason to Watch the Football Game This Evening)

7 Feb

Last week Dennis Ayers of AfterElton called Scott Fujita “One Reason for Gay Sports Fans to Watch the Super Bowl.” After reading their article, I agree: if you weren’t planning on watching the Super Bowl (in which, I’m told, two football teams will play each other on television, sometime later this afternoon or this evening), it might be worth tuning in to see whether number 55 on the black-and-gold team does anything cool.

Scott Fujita, Advocate.com

Ayers writes, “Why am I a Fujita fan? Because last fall the straight, married, father of two lent his name and officially endorsed the National Equality March. When asked why in a subsequent radio interview, here’s what he said:

I think for me it was a cause that I truly believe in. By and large in this country the issue of gay rights and equality should be past the point of debate. Really, there should be no debate anymore. For me, in my small platform as a professional football player, I understand that my time in the spotlight is probably limited. The more times you have to lend your name to a cause you believe in, you should do that.

AfterElton also points out that aside from Fujita, only one NFL star–Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo–has spoken out publicly for gay rights. Read Ayanbadejo’s op-ed on the Huffington Post, Same-Sex Marriage: What’s the Big Deal? In it Ayanbadejo laments America’s rising divorce rates and the inability of “loving same-sex couples” to get married, saying, “I think we will look back in 10, 20, 30 years and be amazed that gays and lesbians did not have the same rights as every one else.”

Brendon Ayanbadejo, criticalbench.com

And while we’re on the subject, let’s not forget former Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas, who came out last year. If you check out this BBC Sport article on Gareth, you’ll also notice (on the right, under “See Also”) a host of articles to the tune of “Irish sports star says he is gay” and “NBA’s Amaechi reveals he is gay.”

So perhaps Fujita was right in a recent Advocate interview when he said (of himself and Ayanbadejo):

“We have strong feelings about equal rights, and to me, expressing those feelings isn’t courageous, it’s the right thing to do. I think there will be a third player who expresses support for gay marriage … and a fourth player, and a fifth, and so on. All it will take is someone who asks more guys their opinion.”

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