Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo are GQ's "Honorary Gays of the Year"

Kluwe and Ayanbadejo will be remembered mainly for what they helped accomplish off the field this season.
Kluwe and Ayanbadejo will be remembered mainly for what they helped accomplish off the field this season.

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe isn't gay, but now he's the next best thing: An honorary gay.

SEE ALSO: Chris Kluwe is Salon's Sexiest Man of 2012

Kluwe and his fellow NFL-playing gay-marriage crusader, Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, have been named GQ's "Honorary Gays of the Year."

The GQ piece bestowing the award on Kluwe and Ayanbadejo notes that the NFL's unexpected emergence as a "hothouse of social liberalism" began in August when Ayanbadejo donated a pair of Ravens tickets to a gay-marriage fund-raiser. That prompted Maryland Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. to write a gay-unfriendly letter to Ravens ownership demanding they silence Ayanbadejo from expressing his views. Kluwe raced to Ayanbadejo's defense with a letter where he reassured Burns Jr. that gay marriage wouldn't turn him into "a lustful cockmonster," and the rest, as they say, is history.

After being named 2012's "Honorary Gays," Kluwe and Ayanbadejo did a joint interview with GQ. Here's an excerpt:

Ayanbadejo: I was in the locker room when I heard about Chris's letter. I saw a line from it in a tweet: "They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster." I was like, "Oh, my God, I need to focus all my attention on this. I'm going to lock myself in a room, and I'm gonna enjoy every moment." Over the next few days, I had conversations with five to ten of the [Ravens players] about what had happened. I asked them if they could play with a gay player. Everybody was like, "Yeah, I totally could." So that was pretty impressive. It shouldn't be impressive, but it was.

Kluwe: The first player to come out is going to face unprecedented media scrutiny. It'll be historic. It's gonna have to be someone tough enough to deal with the distractions. And hopefully he'll know that not just me and Brendon but other players support him.

Ayanbadejo: Eventually it's gonna happen. This is the natural evolution. I call it the Jackie Robinson player--the guy who's going to cross the line and come out and be our Jackie Robinson.

Until that actually gay "Jackie Robinson player" emerges onto the sporting scene, we'll have to content ourselves with honorary ones. And thankfully for gay rights advocates in Maryland and Minnesota, Ayanbadejo and Kluwe made their voices heard at one of the important times possible.

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