Ayanbadejo says he accepts Ravens decision to cut him

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Brendon Ayanbadejo wants to make it clear, he’s as big a proponent of the Ravens as he is gay marriage.

While his earlier remarks gave the clear impression he thought his release was in part because of his outspoken advocacy, Ayanbadejo has circled back to say he doesn’t think that’s why the Ravens released him.

Ayanbadjeo told Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun Friday morning that he understands and accepts the Ravens decision.

“The Ravens have been backing me, they knew my stance for years and have been facilitating me and organizing me with LGBT and set me up with Equality Maryland, they helped me,” Ayanbadejo said. “If they didn’t like what I was doing, they would have cut me a long time ago. I’m a special-teams player and you can find somebody to do what I did for less than half that value. They can find someone to do the same job.”

Ayanbadejo was due to make $940,000 this year, and his point about economics is a valid one. Even the best special teamers are still just special teamers in the eyes of the accountants, and at a time when the Ravens were retooling their defense to get younger, players such as Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard and others weren’t sacred, so why should a 36-year-old backup be?

But he also makes a valid point about the culture of a locker room. The nail that sticks up gets hammered down, and Ayanbadejo openly courted attention to himself to bring attention to his cause.

“No team wants any situation to be bigger than football,” he said. “I think equality rights is inherently bigger than football, but, in no way, was I distraction for my team. It was a balancing act. I was there to play football. I was also there to promote positive issues, things bigger than football.

“The NFL doesn’t really want that. I was saying the NFL as a whole organization, not just the Ravens. The NFL isn’t talking about politics, immigration policies, war and AIDS. The NFL doesn’t touch those things.

“The NFL keeps it safe, talking about charities for kids and those less fortunate, cancer, stuff like that. I was touching on issues bigger than football. I think the Ravens think I’m mad at them, but I’m absolutely not. I love the Ravens. When I say my bark was louder than my bite. I’m saying I’m not the player I once was and the Ravens did the right thing. They were justified. I have no problem with them at all.”

He shouldn’t. Players such as Ayanbadejo gain a greater value to the team that knows them than to others. Most teams have a guy or two on the roster who hang on an extra few years because they’re smart and accountable and reliable. He was one of those guys for the Ravens.

And he wants to make sure he’s still considered a “Raven for life,” regardless his first words which indicated a problem.

36 responses to “Ayanbadejo says he accepts Ravens decision to cut him

  1. Football is football. Keep It Simple Stupid. When I want to expand my knowledge about marriage equality, gender fairness, saving the whales, organizing for peace and yada, yada, yada, I won’t be turning to the NFL and its players who are experts at FOOTBALL. Feel free to come out of the closet now and live your life as you wish, sir.

  2. Yawn. Thanks BA. The move saves 800k+for an aging special teamer who misses tackles. Goodbye.

  3. The previous story you all put out about this issue itself linked to his clarification.

    Ayanbadejo later clarified his comments on Twitter, writing: ‘Just a heads up I did an interview today and no way said I was cut because my views. I said my talk was louder than my production & at 36 when you are not producing it is a fair move. You can find cheaper guys to do what I do. Ravens are the BEST organization in the nfl period!’

  4. This supposed “best special teamer” gave up TWO special teams touchdowns in the PLAYOFFS to he Broncos.

    I know you want to keep Peyton manning off the field… But that’s not the way to do it.

  5. “The NFL keeps it safe, talking about charities for kids and those less fortunate, cancer, stuff like that. I was touching on issues bigger than football…”

    I thought charities for kids, those less fortunate, and cancer were issues bigger than football.

  6. He was released because all he was good for was special teams. And he’s not that good at it anymore… Dude is 37. He won’t be missed in Baltimore.

  7. Sorry Brendon, but the NFL is about entertainment, not social issues.

    I may care about these issues, but when I turn on an NFL game, I don’t care about a player’s stance on gay marriage, or illegal aliens.

    I want to see the dude ball.

    That’s it.

    I don’t care about Brenden Ayanbadejo’s opinion on social issues, politics, or what kind of beer he prefers.

    I want to see the guy play the best football he can.

    Off the field, keep your social views to yourself. I don’t stand outside your house giving my opinions to YOU.

  8. He doesn’t really have a choice in accepting it does he?

    Unless he wants to be like Milton from Office Space and continue to show up for work and not get a paycheck.

    Then the Ravens will have to call in Bob Slidell and Bob Porter to: “Fix the Glitch”.

  9. This is what we can expect when the first NFL player comes out of the closet. This ended well as the player acknowledged that he was not cut b/c of his views. Can you imagine when the 1st player comes out. That team is stuck w/ him until he wants to retire b/c if they cut him based on performance it will be a PR nightmare b/c the media and LGBT folks will be screaming “Discrimination!…the NFL hates gay people!”.

  10. Who exactly was this guy? The last time I checked people watched football and read football news because they were interested in the game. It is irrelevant to all football fans what this nobody thinks about anything.

  11. Well that’s a relief, so glad he excepts the Ravens cutting him. He acts like he was a huge part of the team and made so many plays. I didn’t even know he was on the team until he started speaking out.. Good luck BA

  12. I am glad that he rephrased that. The Raven’s kept an accessory to murder on the roster for a long time because he produced at some level. A team will take on all sorts of malcontents, criminals and loudmouths so long as they produce. Ayanbedejo is not doing much other than advocating for equality in marriage. The ravens would never cut him if he produced.

  13. Um so why the furor over Chris Clemmons saying the media circus around a gay player coming out would be a distraction in the locker room?

    Not to pander to the knuckleheads, but I can accept the viewpoint that all you’d be doing for or against your team’s efforts on the field would be giving fans in opposing stadiums one more thing to yell/chant/etc.

    Rex’s foot fetish, anyone?

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