Brendon Ayanbadejo has been encouraged by all those who applaud his support of gay marriage.
Then, just days before the biggest game of the year, he received a striking reminder of the macho attitudes that still prevail in the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized Thursday for saying during Super Bowl media day that he wouldn't welcome a gay player in the locker room. Culliver insists he was only joking and that's ''not what's in my heart.''
But Ayanbadejo, a Baltimore Ravens linebacker, estimates that at least half of the NFL's players would agree with what Culliver said. And that would make it difficult for a homosexual player to come out publicly. Ayanbadejo says it will take a Jackie Robinson-type figure to break down the barrier.