Faried was raised by two gay mothers, and has shown his support for the LGBT community numerous times. He was the first and only NBA player to join Athlete Ally, an organization focused on ending homophobia and transphobia in sports. When Faried joined Athlete Ally he released the following statement:
“I respect, honor and support them in every way. The bond I have with them has made me realize that I want all members of the LGBT community—whether they are parents, players, coaches or fans—to feel welcome in the NBA and in all of our communities.”
Brendon Ayanbadejo is an ambassador for Athlete Ally. Since 2009, he has publicly supported same-sex marriage. In 2013, he and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe filed a joint amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage.
Verlander’s support for the LGBT community has been quiet but in a 2013 CNN interview his answer to a question about having a gay teammate spoke volumes:
“I don’t think one of our players would be scared to come out. We got 25 guys, it’s a family, and our goal is to win a World Series. What your sexual orientation is, I don’t see how that affects the ultimate goal of our family.”
Sean Avery has a slew of cringe-worthy discrepancies in his NHL history, but his support of the LGBT community is outstanding. Avery became a board member for Athlete Ally in 2012. In May 2011, Avery recorded a video for the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign. In an interview with the New York Times, Avery said, “I certainly have been surrounded by the gay community. And living in New York and when you live in L.A., you certainly have a lot of gay friends.”
In 2013, Lundqvist showed his support for the NHL partnering with the You Can Play Project, an advocacy organization that fights homophobia in sports. Lundqvist told New York Daily News he would be supportive of a gay teammate and:
“I think it’s important that everybody knows that we respect everybody. Everybody deserves to play this game, it doesn’t matter who you are. It’s not really a discussion to me. It should be there. I think we should embrace it and we should support it.”
In July 2011, Michael Irvin appeared shirtless on the cover of Out Magazine.In the magazine, Irvin discussed, for the first time, how his support of the LGBT community stemmed from his gay brother Vaughn who died of stomach cancer. Irvin first learned of his brother’s sexual orientation in the 1970’s and their father helped him learn a tolerant form of Christianity. Irvin believes more African-Americans should get behind marriage equality as they have a history of being discriminated against.
A photo posted by Michael Irvin (@michaelirvin88) on
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Sergio Martinez – Boxer
In 2011, Sergio Martinez recorded an ‘It Gets Better’ video for the Trevor Project. Martinez is active in campaigns and causes supporting helping bullied children and end violence against women as well.
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Rick Fox – NBA – Los Angeles Lakers (Retired)
Rick Fox is truly the definition of a silver fox and on top of his good looks, he is an advocate for LGBT people. Fox admits that he didn’t know much about the gay community until after his retirement and working in Hollywood helped open his mind:
“I just know as I’ve evolved as an actor and being around Hollywood and working with gay men and women, the understanding of just the community itself, gave me insight into how difficult its been for gay men and women to live and how covered they’ve lived for so many years. So I just look at them and think its been, there has to have been gay men and women who haven’t felt safe enough to express themselves (in pro sports).”
During his divorce in 2006, Strahan’s ex-wife accused him of many things including neglecting his children and being gay. Instead of vehemently denying rumors, Strahan told New York Daily Newsalthough he wasn’t gay, he lives in New York City and has plenty of gay friends: “If you can’t accept people for being people, then you have no business being here.”
Back in 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo spoke about same-sex marriage in his home country of Portugal during interviews for the World Cup. Ronaldo told reporters, “We must respect the choices made by anyone, because, after all, all citizens should have the exact same rights and responsibilities.”