NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Numerous NFL players have decided to put their names on apparel which will be sold by the National Football League Players Association.
But these are special shirts, shirts for a cause. The items are intended to honor and raise awareness of LGBT Pride Month.
Raiders punter Chris Kluwe, free-agent linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, former safety Steve Gleason and Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs have participated in the cause.
Gleason, who played with the Saints from 2000-2007 and revealed publicly that he’s battling ALS, said that it all comes down to preaching the importance of equality.
“It’s pretty simple for me — I believe all people are created equal, regardless of their sexuality,” Gleason said in a statement released by the NFLPA. “To promote respect and acceptance is an important role for NFL players and the NFLPA.”
Connor Barwin, Scott Fujita, Donté Stallworth, Domonique Foxworth, Eric Winston and Chris Gocong have also put their names on LGBT Pride shirts.
NBA free-agent-to-be Jason Collins recently made history as the first openly-gay male professional athlete in a major American team sport.
Acceptance has been a hot topic in the NFL, and it’s been said that a small group of football players could come out on the same day.
“Here at the Jets, we welcome diversity regardless of an individual’s religion, race, color or sexual orientation,” a Gang Green spokesman told the New York Daily News.
Suggs told WFAN radio in February that a gay teammate would have no problem in Baltimore’s locker room.
“It comes down to religion, and there are certain things that guys are allowed to disagree on,” Suggs said. “But this is America, and you get to have your opinion and you get to have your beliefs. Like I said, in our locker room we accept everybody for everything. Our No. 1 goal is to come together, and let’s win some football games — not to scrutinize a person on his personal beliefs or his sexual orientation.”
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