Scott Fujita has been one of the most outspoken athletes for gay rights and he announced his retirement today from the NFL after 11 seasons. Fujita made his announcement from Machu Picchu, Peru, where he is visiting with his friend and former New Orleans Saints teammate Steve Gleason, who suffers from ALS. Fujita tweeted this out from a mountaintop:

Where one journey ends, another begins. Thank you for a great 11 years. Proud to retire as a New Orleans Saint.

Fujita played for the Chiefs, Cowboys, Saints and Browns, and will retire as a Saint, where he won a Super Bowl ring in 2009. But it’s his contributions off the field that make us such big fans. For example, on the eve of oral arguments in the Supreme Court over gay marriage, he wrote a fantastic column on the issue for the New York Times, including this paragraph:

Years ago, my wife and I became friendly with a young woman whose teenage brother committed suicide after coming out to an unsuspecting and unsupportive father. This woman explained that her father was a football guy, a "man's man" – whatever that means. She challenged me to speak up for her lost brother because, as she said, the only way to change the heart and mind of someone like her father was for him to hear that people he admires would embrace someone like his son.

Fujita will turn 34 on Sunday and will be missed on the field, but I am sure he will be making contributions to society long after his playing days are over.

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