MARYLAND

Baltimore Ravens LB Ayanbadejo, other NFL players support gay marriage

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was criticized by a Maryland politician for publicly supporting gay marriage. Dec. 24, 2011 file photo, (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Several NFL players are speaking out in support of gay marriage in states where the issue is on the November ballot.

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has argued against a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota.

Kluwe also defended Baltimore linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo after he was criticized by a Maryland politician for publicly supporting gay marriage.

Athletes and team officials say attitudes are changing in big-league sports.

But no active athlete in the four major sports of football, baseball, basketball or hockey has ever come out of the closet.

In all, four states are voting on gay marriage this year. Minnesota's vote is on a constitutional ban. Maryland, Maine and Washington voters are deciding whether gay marriage should be legal.

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