Getty Images for The GEANCO Foun
(Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for The GEANCO Foundation)
Several former Bears have signed a letter written to support the same-sex marriage bill that is currently making its way through the Illinois legislature.
Richard Dent, Hunter Hillenmeyer and Brendon Ayanbadejo all signed on, as well as Cubs Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks.
The letter urges lawmakers to make the bill a law.
"In Illinois today, gay and lesbian couples who are in lifetime committed relationships do not have the freedom to marry. This violates our sense of fairness and respect ... In sports, any time a player is not treated with fairness and respect, the game is diminished. Similarly, treating any group of people as second-class citizens hurts us all, because discrimination is wrong no matter whom the target is."
Ayanbadejo, who recently won the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, has been an outspoken supporter of equal rights for the LGBT community for years. He came under fire for it by conservative groups during the 2012 season, but stood fast.
But with this letter, Ayanbadejo shows he is not alone in supporting the LGBT community. To have such respected athletes support the bill may not mean much to lawmakers, but it will to LGBT sports fans across the state.