Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo have filed a brief in support of plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry later this month and is expected to hand down a ruling in June.

“Sports figures receive a celebrity status that influences a large majority of the American population,” the brief states. “For far too long, professional sports have been a bastion of bigotry, intolerance, and small-minded prejudice toward sexual orientation, just as they had been to racial differences decades earlier. That is finally changing, and changing drastically.”

“This Court should correct Proposition 8's action to remove marriage rights from same-sex couples because, as the district court and the Ninth Circuit majority so carefully explained, the advocates of Proposition 8 provided no evidence-based rationale – as opposed to one based on fear and prejudice – for treating LBGTQ citizens differently with respect to marriage.”

Both players played critical roles in the issue of marriage equality last fall.

Kluwe worked against passage of an unsuccessful constitutional amendment which sought to limit marriage to heterosexual couples in Minnesota. Ayanbadejo advocated for passage of an initiative which upheld a marriage equality law approved by Maryland lawmakers.

(Related: Gay groups cheer as Obama urges Supreme Court to strike down Prop 8.)