NFL wide receiver Donté Stallworth has joined the group Athlete Ally and their fight against homophobia in sports.
Athlete Ally is a non-profit organization aimed at educating and encouraging individual athletes to respect every member of their communities, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Fellow NFL player Brendon Ayanbadejo, who came out in support of LGBT rights, is chairman of Athlete Ally’s advisory board.
“I realize that every day is a gift and you need to do the most with the time that you have,” Stallworth said in a statement. “Joining my friend Brendon Ayanbadejo and the other NFL Ambassadors today is my way of helping make our game better. We need to build a support system in the NFL so that every player can be who they are, play their best, and live life to the fullest.”
Stallworth credits a nearly fatal accident he recently experienced while in a hot air balloon with his girlfriend for triggering his desire to make the world a better place. The couple suffered serious burns last month after the hot air balloon they were riding in hit power lines in Miami.
MMA fighter Rashad Evans also joined forces with Athlete Ally.
“We are making some positive strides in the UFC, but more work needs to be done,” Evans said in a statement. “Our sport, especially, has a young audience and I want kids to know that they will grow up and live in a more tolerant and accepting culture.”
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.