Cleveland Browns’ Scott Fujita: How family and friends shaped his views on marriage equality


Staff Reports

In a stunning new essay, Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, among a growing coalition of straight allies in the professional sports arena, shares the personal stories of family and friends, and why he supports marriage equality for gay couples.

Scott Fujita

In the article, published in The New York Times, Fujita writes, “I don’t ever want to explain to my daughters that some ‘versions’ of love are viewed as ‘less than’ others. I’m not prepared to answer that kind of question.”

In articulating all my feelings about marriage equality, I almost don’t know where to begin. And perhaps that’s part of the problem. Why do we have to explain ourselves when it comes to issues of fairness and equality? Why is common sense not enough?

Years ago, my wife and I became friendly with a young woman whose teenage brother committed suicide after coming out to an unsuspecting and unsupportive father. This woman explained that her father was a football guy, a “man’s man” — whatever that means. She challenged me to speak up for her lost brother because, as she said, the only way to change the heart and mind of someone like her father was for him to hear that people he admires would embrace someone like his son.

I hope that soon after Tuesday’s arguments in front of the Supreme Court, people like me won’t have to speak up for those sons or daughters. No one owns the definition of love. It comes in all shapes and sizes. As Toni Morrison wrote, “Definitions belong to the definer, not the defined.” One thing I know for certain is that you can’t put a face on love, and you can’t tell me what a family is supposed to look like.

Fujita is a longtime supporter of LGBT rights. In 2009, he endorsed the National Equality March and in 2011, recorded a video in support of HRC‘s Americans for Marriage Equality campaign.

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