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Politicizing the Super Bowl

Brendon_Ayanbadejo_by_Keith_Allison_2The Baltimore Ravens have won Super Bowl XLVII.

Amidst a comeback by the 49ers (which fell short), a power outage which lasted for around half an hour, and various commercials (some were funny, some were stupid), politics could also be found.

Last year, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino did a Super Bowl commercial for their organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns (thus promoting gun control). I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

This year, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo tried to politicize the Super Bowl by advocating same-sex marriages, on the grounds that he grew up in a gay-friendly environment. Meanwhile, San Francisco 49ers corner-back Chris Culliver stated that he was opposed to having gay teammates. He later had to backpedal after accusations of being prejudiced towards homosexuals. It’s ironic that a 49ers player would criticize someone for supporting same-sex marriages, since San Francisco is practically the gay capital of the world. As a result, Culliver will be doing some sensitivity training.

This issue brings up two questions: 1) what was the reason for Culliver’s remarks, and 2) why did Ayanbadejo bring up the issue of same-sex marriages prior to the Super Bowl?

In regards to Culliver’s comments, it’s unclear if he was actually prejudiced towards homosexuals or if he was tired of the political correctness in today’s world. Regardless of what his motives were regarding not wanting gays as his teammates, one should realize that there is a health risk factor with having homosexuals in sports. This is due to the possibility of a sexually active homosexual (who may or may not rely on protection) being infected with a disease (AIDS, Hepatitis, etc.). As a result, any bleeding by the infected player would put other players at risk. Although it seems unlikely, there is a chance. Colonel John Ripley (USMC) made a similar argument before Congress, because he himself became infected with Hepatitis B from tainted blood on the battlefield in Vietnam.

Now imagine if an actively homosexual player with AIDS, Hepatitis, or some other infectious disease was on the gridiron, and suffered an blood-letting injury. Suppose other players came into contact with the infected blood. Guess what? Now they are infected. Perhaps Culliver should mention this scenario at his sensitivity training.

As for Ayanbadejo, it’s unclear why he brought up the issue of same-sex marriages prior to the Super Bowl. Perhaps he is trying to get support for his cause. Perhaps he remembered the Mayors Against Illegal Guns ad from last year’s Super Bowl and decided to follow suit. But whatever the reason, Ayanbadejo, as well as Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Jason Whitlock, and Bob Costas should refrain from bringing politics into sports.

Image: Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo; source:
keithallison/3843109654/; author: Keith Allison; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

Andrew Linn

Andrew Linn is a member of the Owensboro Tea Party and a former Field Representative for the Media Research Center. An ex-Democrat, he became a Republican one week after the 2008 Presidential Election. He has an M.A. in history from the University of Louisville, where he became a member of the Phi Alpha Theta historical honors society. He has also contributed to and Right Impulse Media.