The Bears and former linebacker Brian Urlacher denied any involvement Wednesday with the Ruth Institute -- an affiliate of the National Organization For Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage -- after an online promotion for the institute stated a clear involvement of the team.

The Ruth Institute, aimed toward young adults and students, promotes marriage between a man and woman and is opposed to same-sex marriage, according to its website.

In an advertisement for its June gala at an upcoming conference, the California-based group stated, "For now, you should know that we have two fabulous raffle items from the Chicago Bears Organization (and a huge THANK YOU to the Bears for supporting our message)."

Below the statement are images of an autographed Urlacher jersey and an autographed black-and-white photo of deceased Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton.

"I sign a lot of stuff for charity and I don't always know where it goes," Urlacher told the Tribune. "If I would have known it was for this cause, I wouldn't have done it."

Payton's older brother Eddie Payton said he did not know of any memorabilia regarding his brother used to support an anti-gay marriage group.

"This is the first I've heard of it," said Payton, a former NFL kick returner. "Walter treated everybody equal. … Only Walter could speak for himself, but it's a touchy subject. It should be a non-subject."