Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan has been an advocate for LGBT people, so his response to a homophobic fan on Instagram was awesome and no surprise. Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tells the story:

The situation began Sunday when Ryan made a post on Instagram referring to the tragedy in Orlando, in which 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub.

The post was a rainbow photo with the words: “more love #orlando”

Among the responses was one asking: “Where in the bible does it say it’s ok to be homo sexual? (sic).”

Ryan responded in turn: “Please unfollow me. You’re a terrible human being … please stop cheering for the Seahawks. We don’t want piece of (expletive) fans like you. Thanks.”

… Does Ryan regret the tone of his response?

“I think my only regret is that I didn’t respond more harshly,” said Ryan, who has been with the Seahawks since 2008, making him the longest-tenured member of the team. “I don’t want bigots to be fans of this team. I think in the Pacific Northwest we are pretty progressive in a lot of equality issues, and anything that holds that back, people like that can move on in my opinion.

“And the thing that saddened me even more is that this one particular guy that was very angry and people came to his defense, which disgusted me even more. And teenage kids were coming to his defense, which scared me, scared me about the future. So I definitely don’t regret it whatsoever.”

Ryan has deleted his Instagram account and said the Seahawks had nothing to do with it — "I think if the team had told me to take it down then I would have kept it up,'' he said. Instead, he said he didn't want to be part of attracting hate.

We need more athletes like Ryan to stand up in full-throated support for LGBT people and call out hate when they see it.

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