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Rangers' Sean Avery: After NY's Passage Of Same-Sex Marriage, Time For NHL To Get Tough On Equality

NEW YORK (WFAN) -- Rangers agitator Sean Avery is thrilled about New York's passage of same-sex marriage. But he thinks there's still work to do -- in the National Hockey League, specifically.

"It would be great for the NHL to take the lead among professional sports leagues in terms of social equality and justice," Avery told the New York Post on Monday, "and be out front and progressive regarding issues like this."

Avery said even though the video he filmed in support of same-sex marriage for the Human Rights Campaign faced some backlash in the hockey community -- from agent Todd Reynolds in particular -- his PSA "increased visibility" on the issue. Avery said his face-to-face lobbying also "had an impact."

"I'm sure there are a number of players around the league who think I am gay or bi, and maybe more now since I got involved in this," he said. "And even though I'm not, I have no problem with that at all."

Reynolds, an NHL agent with Uptown Sports Management, tweeted last month: "Very sad to read Sean Avery's misguided support of same-gender 'marriage'. Legal or not, it will always be wrong."

Shortly afterward, Rogers Sportsnet broadcaster Damian Goddard was fired after voicing his support for Reynolds.

Former Giants wide receiver and Super Bowl XLII star David Tyree also got in on the debate, saying that gay marriage could lead to "anarchy," and later admitting he would trade his Super Bowl ring to ensure a stop to same-sex marriage.

But Avery had plenty of backing on the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign side.

Ex-Giants pass rusher Michael Strahan also filmed a PSA in support of the measure, as did Big Blue chairman Steve Tisch. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bill Clinton, New York senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Sam Waterston and Julianne Moore also filmed for the HRC.

Avery told the paper it's a "great time to be a New Yorker."

"This is very, very special for a lot people across the U.S., in New York State and for a lot of my friends," he said. "What's a more genuine issue than having the same rights as everyone else when it comes to marriage?"

Should the NHL take a stand for same-sex marriage rights? Sound off in the comments below...

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