Rangers forward Sean Avery has always been a true individual, never afraid to speak his mind or be himself. That includes his recent move to contribute to a movement in New York for equal marriage rights.
In a 30-second video he recorded, Avery is seen looking at the camera, espousing his belief in people being allowed to marry the person they love.
"The places I’ve played and lived the longest have been in West Hollywood, Calif., when I played for the L.A. Kings, and when I moved to New York, I lived in Chelsea for the first four years," Avery said in a phone interview with the New York Times . "I certainly have been surrounded by the gay community. And living in New York and when you live in L.A., you certainly have a lot of gay friends."
UPDATE: Uptown Sports, a firm that represents many players (see the list here ), doesn't seem to agree with Avery's point of view, criticizing the forward for joining the movement. Per tweets from Todd Reynolds, the firm's Vice President and son of the owner:
Very sad to read Sean Avery's misguided support of same-gender "marriage". Legal or not, it will always be wrong.
To clarify. This is not hatred or bigotry towards gays. It is not intolerance in any way shape or form. I believe we are all equal...
But I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This is my personal viewpoint. I Do not hate anyone.
His recording joins a list of New York-area celebrities joining the fight, but is the first coming from an athlete. Similar movements in other states have had advocates from pro sports, specifically Ravens LB Brendon Ayanbadejo in Maryland while the Suns' Grant Hill and Jared Dudley recorded a PSA to discourage antigay language.
In addition to his on-ice notoriety as a class-A agitator (surely you remember this ) and off-ice instances like his infamous "sloppy seconds" remark regarding his ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert's relationship with Dion Phaneuf, Avery has been active in the fashion world. He took an internship with Vogue magazine and hasn't hidden his interest in fashion.
"People have been calling me names for 10 years just because I like to wear nice suits," he told the Times . "It’s going to take a lot to get me upset or to get under my skin. I’m OK"
There still hasn't been an openly gay active male athlete in a professional American team sport. There have been a few players to come out across the globe and former NBA player John Amaechi revealed his homosexuality after his playing days finished.
On the ice, which always seems to be an afterthought with Avery, he scored three goals with 21 assists for the Rangers last season.
-- Brian Stubits