Diving after loose rebounds or going toe-to-toe with some of the NBA's most feared big men is all in a day's work for New Jersey native Kenneth Faried, but perhaps his most courageous act comes off the court.
Recently the 23-year-old Denver Nuggets standout released a PSA, geared toward Colorado legislation. In the ad Faried was accompanied by his biological mother and her partner (who he also affectionately refers to as his mother).
The commercial supports same sex marriage, a move that is both groundbreaking and symbolic of a new way of thinking in` pro sports where homophobia runs rampant. (Author's note: Hopefully a decade from now, acts like this will be considered normal rather than courageous.)
"Nobody can ever tell me I can't have two mothers because I really do," said the 6-foot-8-inch power forward. Faried, who is known to basketball fans as the "Manimal" for his ferocity during games, has already shown that he is just as fearless off the court as he is on it.
In addition to the PSA, the rising star has also recently joined Athlete Ally to help usher in a new age of acceptance and understanding in professional sports.
The organization released a statement on their website www.athleteally.com.
"We are pleased to announce today that Denver Nuggets star forward Kenneth Faried has joined the organization as an Athlete Ally. With the addition of a widely respected NBA player to the program, it is clear that sports culture is shifting toward inclusion."
Time will tell if professional athletes like Faried will become the norm or remain the exception.