Former NFL Raven speaks about marriage equality

Former NFL Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo.
October 01, 2013

Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl champion Brendon Ayanbadejo shares his message of equal rights for all at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at WMC Alumni Hall as part of McDaniel’s Inclusive Language Campaign (ILC) launching Oct. 2.

Ayanbadejo set a precedent as the first professional athlete to publicly support marriage equality, and shares how he went from playing professional football to spreading the word of equality throughout the country.

Known as much for his prowess on the gridiron as he is for his resolute devotion to champion the right for gay couples to legally wed, Ayanbadejo sees the fight to legalize same-sex marriage as the 21st-century version of the fight for racial equality, and he has thrown himself into the battle for equal rights with a relentless determination towards victory.

Developed by Student Affairs in partnership with the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, McDaniel’s on-campus ILC campaign promotes respectful and healthy communication in an inclusive campus climate, says Ben Cowman, area coordinator for independent housing and lead organizer of the campaign.

“Our campaign message is simple – your words have power. Think before you speak,” says Cowman, repeating the words printed on the black rubber wristbands the organizers will distribute on campus along with posters, flyers and door hangers.

Organizers are hoping the ILC series will help create a forum for dialogue where students can express their feelings and concerns, share their stories and experiences, learn more about each other, hold one another accountable for word choice and share approaches about how to better communicate together, Cowman says.

To that end, open discussions are scheduled for students and motivational speaker Mike Dilbeck will discuss his Response Ability project.