Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo on Tuesday announced a new push to win broader rights for LGBT Floridians.

The 10-year NFL veteran became an outspoken ally last year in the campaign to win gay marriage in Maryland.

At a press conference organized by gay rights advocate Equality Florida, Ayanbadejo, whose career started in Florida where he now lives, explained to reporters why athlete allies are critical to the movement.

“I think the star power, especially athletes, allows us to hit a different demographic,” Ayanbadejo said. “Whereas, you know, if you're from Hollywood it's kind of, you know, a lot of people are already in line with marriage equality in that arena. So people that are looking at sports and reading articles and things like from the sports community are a little bit behind. Not only are the athletes, but so is the sports community. So, I think that allows us to have our voice just reach a little bit deeper to people that normally wouldn't hear about such issues.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)