The spotlight has been shining intensely on the issue of an athlete’s sexuality lately, particularly in the mixed martial arts world.
Liz Carmouche, who recently challenge UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, grabbed headlines as the promotion’s first openly gay fighter. More recently, CFA fighter Fallon Fox has made news over the controversy swirling around her for competing as a transgender athlete. Fox was born a male, but several years ago underwent gender reassignment surgery and accompanying treatment to become a female.
The spotlight now has shifted slightly to the subject of gay marriage, and the support it is garnering from professional athletes, among them, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.
Minnesota Viking punter Chris Kluwe and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo recently submitted a Brief of Amici Curiae to the United States Supreme Court urging it to overturn bans on gay marriage. Evans, according to Outsports, signed the brief.
The brief basically outlines how sports and athletes have a strong influence, rightly or wrongly, on a large majority of the American population, and Kluwe and Ayanbadejo’s argument against bans on gay marriage.
“When we advance the idea that some people should be treated differently because of who they are, demeaned in public as lesser beings, not worthy of the same rights and benefits as others despite their actions as good citizens and neighbors, then we deny them equal protection under the laws,” they wrote. “America has walked this path before, and courageous people and the Court brought us to the right result. We urge the Court to repeat those actions here.”
Evans issued a statement to Outsports explaining his support of the brief and of gay marriage.
“I'm a UFC fighter, a macho-type sport,” he explained. “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.
“What people overlook is that is isn't a sex issue, its a love issue. There's no justifiable reason for trying to get in the way of two people who love each other.”