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Brendon Ayanbadejo to use platform for gay rights

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has been in the NFL long enough to know that Super Bowl appearances don't come around very often. He wants to take advantage of this opportunity.

When Ayanbadejo returned home late at night after the AFC Championship Game, his mind turned to politics. According to The New York Times, Ayanbadejo emailed two leading same-sex marriage advocates with a simple question.

"Is there anything I can do for marriage equality or anti-bullying over the next couple of weeks to harness this Super Bowl media?" he wrote. He hit "send" on the email just before 4 a.m.

We already can smell some readers getting annoyed. Ayanbadejo has been a vocal supporter of gay rights for a long time. Shouldn't Ayanbadejo be focused on the game rather than out promoting some political agenda?

To that we say: Child, please. Athletes promote the most ridiculous things throughout Super Bowl week. The wackier the player is on "Media Day," the more attention he usually gets. If a player wants to shine a light on a serious issue for once instead of his Twitter-follower count, should we really criticize?

"It's one of those times when you're really passionate and in your zone," Ayanbadejo told Frank Bruni of The New York Times. "And I got to thinking about all kinds of things, and I thought: How can we get our message out there?"

Ayanbadejo called the email his "Jerry McGuire" moment. His level of commitment will make some folks uncomfortable; that's probably a good thing.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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