- The Washington Times - Friday, April 5, 2013

Word is four National Football League players are on their way out — of the closet, that is.

The Baltimore Sun reported on Friday that former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo — who just grabbed national headlines when he publicly wondered if his release was due to his pro-gay rights views — hinted that four players were currently conspiring to announce their homosexuality on the same day.

“I think it will happen sooner than you think,” Mr. Ayanbadejo said during an hour-long interview with the Baltimore Sun. “We’re in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now and they’re trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out.”

ESPN and the Associated Press report that Mr. Ayanbadejo predicted a widespread backlash would follow.

“Of course there would be backlash,” he said, as quoted in the ESPN report. “If they could share the backlash, it would be more positive. It’s cool. It’s exciting.”

The Ravens, in the meantime, put out a statement denying Mr. Ayanbadejo was released due to his support for the gay community.

“We’re surprised that he would indicate this,” said Ravens public relations spokesman Kevin Byrne, according to ESPN.

Mr. Ayanbadejo, 36, played 10 years in the NFL for the Ravens and for the Chicago Bears.



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