New England Patriots Bret Lockett has posed for the NOH8 Campaign, which raises awareness and funds for gay rights causes, including ending California's 2008 voter-approved gay marriage ban, Proposition 8.

The NOH8 Campaign, which is helmed by photographer-activist Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley, photographs celebrities and everyday folks with their mouths duct taped and the campaign's familiar “NOH8” slogan often written on one cheek.

In his photograph, the 24-year-old Lockett poses in a white short-sleeve t-shirt, exposing several tattoos on his forearm, and holding a football.

In remarks to the website, Lockett said he wanted to be part of the NOH8 Campaign because he was bullied in school.

“It's a sad thing,” he said. “And it's not just being gay. There are kids who kill themselves for being a nerd or being fat. There's not enough support in life today. We need to start lifting people up instead of trying to bring them down.”

And on the issue of gay marriage: “They definitely think they should have the right to marry. They're not affecting anybody else. I know it bothers some people to see two people of the same sex together, but you shouldn't deny them the chance to become one and get married. There are a lot of people who will never find a mate, gay or straight. I don't knock it.”

Lockett is not the first NFL athlete to pose for the campaign. Last month, Carolina Panthers linebacker Nic Harris joined the campaign. New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie and Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaac Keys have, as well.

Former NFL defensive lineman Esera Tavai Tuaolo, who announced in 2002 that he's gay on HBO's Real Sports, also recently posed.

The campaign received a huge boost in January when NCIS star Pauley Perrette wore a strapless dress that featured the NOH8 Campaign's logo to the People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles.