NFL players Matt Birk and Brendon Ayanbadejo clash over gay marriage
Ayanbadejo says Birk's anti-gay marriage beliefs 'hurts people', and hopes to change his mind
American football players Matt Birk and Brendan Ayanbadejo have clashed over their opposing views on gay marriage.
In a video demanding people vote against marriage equality in Maryland, Birk says: ‘[Marriage] provides unique foundation for society and children.
‘Marriage is more than what adults want for themselves, it is also about the next generation.
‘Marriage is, and should remain, between a man and a woman.’
A devout Catholic, Birk says gay and lesbians already have some benefits like hospital visitation rights, so it is wrong for them to ‘redefine’ traditional marriage.
Birk’s opinions differ from many of his teammates, including outspoken marriage equality supporter Ayanbadejo.
In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, Ayanbadejo said: ‘We respectfully disagree. The only thing I’d like to point out is I’m a product of a biracial family. There was a point in time when my parents couldn’t marry.
‘There was a point where there weren’t black players in locker rooms a la Jackie Robinson and people that was OK back then.
‘We’re just trying to change people’s mindsets to do what’s right and we don’t want to take rights away from people. We want more equality.
He added: ‘A lot of people say, ‘How can you be friends with somebody like that?’ But I feel like I was put here to help change people and change minds and opinions and attitude.
‘Just because Matt doesn’t think the same way as me and it does affect people in a negative way and hurt people, I’m not going to dismiss our friendship because of that.
‘I think my purpose is to help people like that do what’s right.’
Check out a gay marriage support video from Brendon Ayanbadejo here: