Brendon Ayanbadejo (Baltimore Ravens Linebacker)
Ayanbadejo became the NFL's first outspoken supporter of marriage equality after he blogged about same-sex marriages for The Huffington Post in 2009, made a video for Marylanders for Marriage Equality and donated Ravens tickets to the cause, which sparked controversy with Baltimore County Delegate Emmett Burns, Jr. Burns wrote a letter to Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti demanding that Bisciotti "take the necessary action. . . to inhibit such expressions from your employee." That letter was widely criticized as an effort to infringe on Ayanbadejo's right to free speech.