The question of same-sex marriage has created some same-team awkwardness.
Last month, Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo came out in favor of expanding the legal definition of marriage to include folks of the same gender. Over the weekend, Ravens center Matt Birk voiced his opposition to it in an op-ed that ran in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“I think it is important to set the record straight about what the marriage debate is and is not about, and to clarify that not all NFL players think redefining marriage is a good thing,” Birk wrote.
On Monday, Birk said he won’t let the issue become a “circus” in the locker room, but he also said he won’t remain silent.
“I took a stance like other guys have done before me. In doing so, it’s not my aim, it’s not my goal to engage in any debates with any one person or persons. Obviously, we all have opinions,” Birk said, via J. Michael of CSNBaltimore.com. “It just so happens we disagree on what marriage is in the public forum. Certainly, a very inflammatory, very hot topic because it’s important. I understand that.
“Out of respect to my teammates and my team, the organization, this isn’t going to turn into a circus. It probably won’t be the last time that I publicly make a stance on it.”
Birk explained that he told Ayanbadejo on Friday that the column was coming. Coach John Harbaugh has assumed the posture of Switzerland.
“Don’t discourage it or encourage it,” Birk said. “As long as everybody respects everybody else’s opinion, that’s the main thing. We talk about politics, religion . . . movies, music. It’s OK to have an opinion.”
One of Birk’s former teammates, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, also has weighed in, via a written submission that only Kluwe could craft.
Regardless of where folks land on this one, here’s hoping that it doesn’t become an issue in the locker room for the Ravens or any other team. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on matters like this, but it’s important to respect everyone else’s opinion on matters like this, too.