Many professional athletes get paid obscene amounts of money, yet their behavior when they step off the field, court or rink is often obscene. Whether it's bringing handguns into the locker room, participating in violent fights, being arrested for drunk driving or domestic violence, or using homophobic language to taunt opponents, officials or fans, far too many athletes go too far in cultivating their "bad boy" images.
But not all athletes are cut from the same cloth. In recent months, I've been tremendously impressed by the number of athletes who have spoken in favor of gay rights and against homophobic hate.
Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita has spoken out in favor of gay rights.
New York Rangers forward Sean Avery expressed his support for gay marriage and even recorded a video for the Human Rights Campaign's "New Yorkers for Msrriage Equality" program.
Phoenix Suns players Grant Hill and Jared Dudley recently recorded an anti-bullying PSA for GLSEN.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo spoke out on behalf of marriage equality and gay rights and earlier this year, recorded a video in support of marriage equality in Maryland.
And now, Ayanbadejo's teammate, wide receiver Donté Stallworth, recently took to Twitter in support of equality.
It is heartening to see this increasing show of support from pro athletes, and I can only hope the numbers of those for equality will continue to grow. After all, equality has never hurt anyone.
It's nice to see athletes actually act like role models.