Ole Miss football players shamefully landed themselves in hot water last week during a performance of The Laramie Project at their school when they yelled “f—” during a re-enactment of the tragic hate crime murder of gay rights icon Matthew Shephard. Now, former NFL star Brendon Ayanbadejo is weighing in on the matter and blasting Ole Miss for not keep their athletes in line.
After the disheartening incident occurred, the NFL vet and popular gay rights activist wrote an open letter to Ole Miss, criticizing the school and it’s football team, reports Fox Sports.
“The alleged behavior of Ole Miss football players along with freshmen from other sports and students attending the play to fulfill some underclassmen requirements is abhorrent and unacceptable,” wrote Ayanbadejo.
“I blame the administration as much as I blame the athletes. This is a graphic play and a graphic production. People need to have an idea of what they are getting themselves into,” he said. “In no way do I condone this behavior but you need to have a conversation with these athletes when they set foot on any campus as to what is expected from them as representatives of the university.”
He added, “This is why the work of Athlete Ally and groups like the Gay Straight Alliance, which serves as a bridge for gay and straight students in high school to form an alliance of inclusivity and nondiscriminatory behavior, is so important.
“Unfortunately everyone was not raised with the morality and values to treat all people equally.”
Although Ayanbadejo was disappointed with the students he went on to offer sensitivity training and guidance to the young players.
“So before Ole Miss is quick to hand down punishment I would like to see them take a more holistic and proactive approach in educating students and student athletes alike. All you have to do is reach out and I will be happy to discuss how I can help you take the next step,” he offered.
Kudos to Ayanbadejo for holding Ole Miss responsible for properly guiding their athletes on not only how to be great players but how to be great, understanding and accepting people as well.
Check out some other LGBT allies in sports below. – nicholas robinsom