equal rites

Who to Root for in the Super Bowl If You Like Gay People [Updated]

Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens, left, thinks gay people should be treated equally. Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49ers, right, thinks gay people need to “get up out of here.” Photo: Ezra Shaw and Al Bello/Getty Images

Let’s say you don’t live in San Francisco or Baltimore and don’t have any particular attachment to either city or their football teams. You could hardly even name any 49ers or Ravens players — maybe you’ve heard of the two starting quarterbacks and the guy who might have murdered someone. You have no opinion on who is the superior Harbaugh. In short, you basically have no basis for who to root for in the Super Bowl this Sunday. Well, if you feel strongly about gay marriage, now you do. 

That’s because the Ravens have linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who reached out to gay-rights advocates last week to ask how he might go about “harness[ing] this Super Bowl media” to promote marriage equality. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the 49ers have cornerback Chris Culliver who responded thus today when asked if a gay player would be welcome on his team:

I don’t do the gay guys, man,” said Culliver, whose Niners play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. “I don’t do that. No, we don’t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do.”

“Can’t be with that sweet stuff. Nah … can’t be … in the locker room, man. Nah.”

We have no idea how all the other players on either team feel about gay marriage or gay people, and frankly, we’d prefer not to hear from them, because that would only muddle what is currently, for rooting purposes, a conveniently stark contrast between tolerance and bigotry. 

Update, 9:12 p.m.: It has been brought to our attention in the comments that the 49ers filmed an It Gets Better video, and that Ravens have a player, center Matt Birk, who is an outspoken foe of gay marriage. This obviously complicates things a bit, which is exactly what we were afraid was going to happen.

Update 2/2/13: The “It Gets Better” campaign has pulled its 49ers video after two of its participants seemed to have no idea that they had participated in a gay-rights video. Meanwhile, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs told reporters he “wouldn’t have a problem” with having an openly gay teammate in the locker room. “Who cares? Whatever a person’s choice is, it’s their choice,” he said. At the same time, though, 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss said the NFL should be able to “move on and accept” gay athletes, and his teammate, center Jonathan Goodwin, added, “If someone’s choice is not affecting you, then you can’t be upset with people for their choices.”

In conclusion, we have no idea which team you should root for if you like gay people.

Who to Root for in Super Bowl If You Like Gays