Reasons To Adore Saints Linebacker Scott FujitaS

For one thing, he doesn't care if anyone calls him a "Pinko Communist Fag from Berkeley." Also:

1) He diplomatically but firmly opposed the message of the Tebow ad, which will air during the Super Bowl Fujita is playing in Sunday. "The idea of focusing on the family - who wouldn't agree with that?" he told The New York Times. "But the means of doing so, he and I might not see eye to eye all the way." Fujita was adopted, and his biological mother was a teenager when he was born. "I'm just so thankful she had the courage and the support system to be able to carry out the pregnancy," Fujita said. "I wouldn't expect that of everybody."

2) He lent his name to the National Equality March and has been outspoken about gay rights issues.

3) He supports an orphanage in New Orleans and started speaking out on gay rights in part because of his objection to laws limiting gay adoption. "What [such laws] are really saying is that the concern with one's sexual orientation or one's sexual preference outweighs what's really important, and that's finding safe homes for children," he has said. "It's also saying that we'd rather have kids bounce around from foster home to foster home throughout the course of their childhood, than end up in a permanent home."

4) He's active on behalf breast cancer awareness (his mother is a two-time survivor), filming PSAs for Susan G. Komen New Orleans Race for the Cure and wearing a pink hat during interviews.

5) He's not afraid to speak up for his beliefs in a respectful, reasoned way. "People tell me, hey, that's pretty courageous. You come out in favor of gay rights. I don't think it's that courageous," he told The Times. "I think I have an opinion, that I wish was shared by everybody, but I honestly believe that it's shared by more [football players] than we know because a lot of people just won't speak out about it."

6) His teammates say his outspokenness has fueled debates in less-likely quarters. Says linebacker Scott Shanle,"We all like when he brings out his opinions. Debates get started."

7) He left the Dallas Cowboys for the post-Katrina New Orleans Saints because, according to The Boston Globe, "he told himself, 'This could be bigger than football.''"

8) He often talks of drawing inspiration from the example set by his strong-willed Japanese-American grandmother, who was interned during World War II.

9) He has a political science degree from Berkeley and a master's in education. He has said he wants to be a public school teacher after retiring from football.

The Saints Linebacker Who Speaks His Mind [NYT]
Solid Backing By Saint [Boston Globe]
"Why I Support the National Equality March": NFL's Scott Fujita Speaks Out for Gay Rights [HuffPo]
The NFL Tackles Breast Cancer [iVillage]
Hello, I'm Japanese [ESPN]

Related: Tebow Response Video: "We Celebrate Families...By Trusting Women