Friday, February 05, 2010

Giving credit where credit is due

We've had several discussions about the right-leaning political tendencies of professional athletes in the last year, and the Tebow-Dobson Super Bowl ad is certainly a current topic of debate heading into the big game Sunday. In a rare reminder that not every jock buys into the right's Kool-Aid, The Advocate's Michelle Garcia's interview with New Orleans Saints linebacker Scott Fujita is most welcome.

Fujita, who played his college ball in Berkeley, has an impressive resume of charitable work in New Orleans. He has worked with local organizations on issues from breast cancer awareness and research, children's charities, and adoption services. For his charitable efforts, he was named the Saints' 2009 Man of the Year. In the article, Fujita espouses his support for marriage equality. Not only is it refreshing to hear something like this from an NFL player, but Fujita's comments are well-constructed, logical, and thoughtful.

I have never claimed to have all the answers ... still haven't met someone who does. But I have some strong opinions about things, especially when it comes to issues of prejudice and inequality. I also recognize that the platform I've been given as a professional athlete will be taken from under me once I leave this game, at which point no one will care to ask my opinion. So in the meantime, why not stand for something?

It's great to add Scott Fujita to the list of pro athletes (like Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo, Steve Young, and Charles Barkley) that have made public their support for marriage equality. If my Colts have to lose to New Orleans on Sunday, I hope Scott Fujita is involved in the play that gives the Saints the go-ahead score (as long as the total stays under 57).