18 Pro Athletes Who Support Same-Sex Marriage

History will reflect favorably on these outspoken players

Professional sports provide a public and fruitful opportunity for the advancement of equal-rights issues, but last week's comments by former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe suggest that players still risk martyrdom if they stand up for something more than X's and O's. In his lengthy Deadspin article "I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot," Kluwe stated that despite his stellar performance, the Vikings released him due to his public support of same-sex marriage. Kluwe's allegations may never be proven, but they've made for a watershed shamming in sports, where discussions of sexual identity – its broadening definitions, changing level of acceptance and increasing role in setting an example for the rest of society – continue to accelerate. And momentum was clearly gained in the past 12 months. Although he's not currently signed to a team, NBA center Jason Collins became the first active male player in the four major American professional sports to come out as gay. And Brittney Griner, the WNBA's Number One overall draft pick in 2013, began her career by identifying as gay. Slowly, with increasing support – and the inevitability of openly gay athletes in locker rooms – it seems that history will reflect favorably on even the most outspoken athletes. Here are 17 more who openly support same-sex marriage. —Hunter Atkins

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