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Birk boycotts White House visit over abortion issue

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Plenty of members of the Ravens team that won the Super Bowl didn’t attend Wednesday’s visit to the White House, for plenty of reasons.

Some, like Anquan Boldin, are busy with their new teams.  Others, like Bernard Pollard, have a stick stuck in a place where sticks don’t normally go.  Still others, like Cary Williams, have better things to do, like making sure the tires on his bicycle have the recommended amount of internal air pressure.

Retired center Matt Birk passed for different reasons.  Birk stayed away for political reasons.

I wasn’t there,” Birk told KFAN.  “I would say this, I would say that I have great respect for the office of the Presidency but about five or six weeks ago, our President made a comment in a speech and he said, ‘God bless Planned Parenthood.’ . . .

“Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year.  I am Catholic, I am active in the Pro-Life movement and I just felt like I couldn’t deal with that.  I couldn’t endorse that in any way.”

Actually, President Obama didn’t say, “God bless Planned Parenthood.”  He ended a speech to the group with the perfunctory, “Thank you, Planned Parenthood.  God bless you.  God bless America.”

Some will see that as a distinction without a difference.  And while, like Birk, I am Catholic and, like Birk, I don’t believe in abortion, Birk’s stance puts him on a slippery slope of logic that, taken to its extreme, could result in Birk renouncing his American citizenship.

Whether we like it or not (and Birk and I and many others personally don’t), abortion remains a legal procedure under certain circumstances in this country, falling within perceived (but not specifically articulated) Constitutional privacy rights.

So if traveling to the White House with a Super Bowl championship-winning football team “endorses” abortion, doesn’t living in a country that allows abortions to happen do the same thing?

While we respect Birk for sticking to his beliefs, it’s a shame that he would deny himself the once-in-a-lifetime experience of visiting the White House with his former teammates.

Share your thoughts on this below.  I’ve got a feeling you don’t need an engraved invitation to do so.

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272 Responses to “Birk boycotts White House visit over abortion issue”
  1. purplepride74 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:39 AM

    Did you know he went to Harvard?

  2. t8ertot says: Jun 6, 2013 11:40 AM

    ” Birk’s stance puts him on a slippery slope of logic that, taken to its extreme, could result in Birk renouncing his American citizenship”

    Highly doubt that. One of the perks of being an American is freedom of speech.

  3. germanstingray says: Jun 6, 2013 11:40 AM

    I respect Birk for remaining true to himself and his religious beliefs.

  4. myspaceyourface says: Jun 6, 2013 11:40 AM

    GOOD FOR HIM.

    Who is fighting for the rights of the unborn baby?

    They talk about womens rights while violating and killing of the rights of millions each year.

  5. ninerfan81 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:42 AM

    One of the beautiful things about this country is the premise of free speech and having free will. It’s well within his right to skip the white house visit and well within in right to disagree with the President’s remarks (albeit misquoted). Birk is a Harvard man and no doubt very intelligent, this will be one of his points of emphasis when he decides to run on the Conservative ticket. The man apparently has an agenda and shaking the President’s hand would’ve hurt him on his future campaign trail, lol. Great segue into your career in politics Matt.

  6. parasonic says: Jun 6, 2013 11:42 AM

    Just another person using their personal religious beliefs to assume they know what’s best for everyone else. Lucky to live in the US where I can believe what I want and not be persecuted for it.

    As for Birk’s decision, they weren’t there to discuss politics. They were there to get congratulations.

  7. jaxbeachjagfan says: Jun 6, 2013 11:42 AM

    There are flights leaving every single day Mr. Birk. See, in AMERICA, you don’t get to impose your beliefs on everyone else and vice versa. Ain’t it grand?

  8. crownofthehelmet says: Jun 6, 2013 11:42 AM

    Mr. Birk, I have a new found respect for you.

  9. mazblast says: Jun 6, 2013 11:42 AM

    His loss. You may disagree with the President, but he’s still the President. You meet him, you shake his hand, you privately tell him that in your opinion he’s wrong, you make your point.

    I’d like to know why these events take so long to happen. They won the SB in February, and it takes until June to find a place in the President’s schedule for this “honor”?

    Well, I guess with all the vacations and golf outings, the President doesn’t have too many openings on his ledger.

  10. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 6, 2013 11:42 AM

    Matt Birk has been my favorite NFL player for years. I respect him even more now that he has taken this stance. He missed a once in a lifetime experience because he has the courage of his convictions.

  11. fwippel says: Jun 6, 2013 11:43 AM

    I think this shows courage on Birk’s part. He’s willing to stand up for his beliefs instead of being two-faced. He should not be criticized for doing standing on principle.

    As for the so-called “mis-quote”, this is splitting hairs. We all know what the President said, and that “God Bless Planned Parenthood” is not out of context. I’m surprised you’re actually criticizing Birk for this.

    As for the part about Birk being on a slippery slope to renouncing his citizenship, that’s just silly. We all have a right to stand up for what we believe in, and choose how (within the law) we do that. I don’t think Matt Birk is losing any sleep of skipping the visit.

  12. carltonbanks26 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:44 AM

    Mr Florio, I agree with you 100%.

    I didn’t expect Matt Birk to show up. I’m a Ravens fan and his views on abortion are well known. I’m also Catholic and also not a fan of abortion.

    I think the problem for Birk is that the political groups he is involved with are so fervent and unwavering, that his mere attendance would be seen as some sort of arch betrayal and he could find himself blackballed by those he has previously helped.

  13. GenXJay says: Jun 6, 2013 11:45 AM

    Good on him.

  14. rsenist1 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:45 AM

    Berk starts by stating that he has respect for the presidency. Obviously, you don’t.

  15. dsonashville28 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:45 AM

    I’m sure Tim Thomas approves.

  16. onermedboxer says: Jun 6, 2013 11:45 AM

    I respect his decision to not go.
    If he holds these beliefs as true as he says, then I can’t blame the guy. He wouldnt have enjoyed himself at the White House, so why force the guy to go

  17. caryw30 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:46 AM

    I happen to agree with Birk. Yes abortion is the law of the land but if the laws of the land conflict with your beliefs, then it is better that you stand your ground, then having the chance to have a photo-op with the President. And please dont forget that Birk was respectful to the office of the President.

  18. nuttyj says: Jun 6, 2013 11:47 AM

    Even if that recent quote was off a bit the O administration has been very clear in it’s support of abortion and PP so bravo Matt for sticking to your convictions. While you cannot avoid interaction with those of different view, nor should you, there are times when you an choose to stand by your convictions and in those time that is the right thing to do.

  19. daburgher says: Jun 6, 2013 11:47 AM

    Since it is now illegal to protest anywhere near the president.. id probably pass on that trip too..

  20. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 6, 2013 11:47 AM

    He isn’t saying that visiting the White House is endorsing abortion. He’s making a statement and drawing attention to a very important issue. You never had a problem with Chris Kluwe doing that kind of thing.

  21. dwinsgames says: Jun 6, 2013 11:48 AM

    I can see both sides of the issue, but can anyone explain to me how a religion can oppose BOTH birth control AND abortion. If you tell people that they can’t do the former, it is absolutely certain you are going to end up with more of the latter!

  22. reesesteel23 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:48 AM

    Lol……I am sure there are hundreds of things he and the pres. don’t agree on. It’s a little random that this 1 thing stopped him from going. Hell, I’m sure he and Ravens management don’t agree on a lot of things….but they pay him soo…..money cures most doubts

  23. snapcracklepopfart says: Jun 6, 2013 11:48 AM

    Why is it that the people who hate obama are always misinformed about what he actually said.

  24. corkspop says: Jun 6, 2013 11:49 AM

    Kudos to Birk!!! Skipping a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity shows the strength of his convictions. No, living in a country that allows abortions to happen DOES NOT endorse abortion. Birk and many others are working on many levels to change that.

  25. barrywhererufrom says: Jun 6, 2013 11:49 AM

    Good for him..stand up for the defenseless babies

  26. brazy44 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:49 AM

    Burke is just another failed soul, who’s holy’er than thou attitutude is throwing our country into the toilet. congrats burke.

  27. lgbarn says: Jun 6, 2013 11:49 AM

    I’m so tired of these guys making these events about politics and themselves. If you are too busy, I understand but this is about the President of the United States recognizing your team.

    It has nothing to do with the head Democrat guy or the head Republican guy. This kind of stuff is why congress can’t pass a budget because everyone wants to score points instead of compromise and doing the will of the people.

  28. pgui88 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:49 AM

    Someone standing up for his beliefs. I cheer you Mr. Birk.

  29. lwstarr says: Jun 6, 2013 11:49 AM

    I would never criticize anyone for their religious or political beliefs, but it’s the OFFICE of the President that is honoring this team for their accomplishment, not simply the POTUS. Being a Boston sports fan, we saw the same thing when Tim Thomas refused to go to the White House. This is a team accomplishment that your COUNTRY is recognizing and honoring you for, not just the person that occupies the office.

  30. raiderssf says: Jun 6, 2013 11:50 AM

    I am on team Catholic too, and I applaud Matt Birk. He is sticking to what he believes in regardless of the consquences. Unlike certain Catholic politicians who play both sides of the fence on this issue to get votes.

  31. nflhof says: Jun 6, 2013 11:50 AM

    Be careful or the IRS is going to come after you Birk.

  32. jetfand says: Jun 6, 2013 11:50 AM

    I am Prl Life like you and Birk. Fully respect his stance but maybe he could have gone to White House wearing the Pro Life Rose and shown support that way?

  33. broncofanssuck says: Jun 6, 2013 11:50 AM

    Shouldn’t he be boycotting the Supreme Court then and not the White House?

  34. twonis says: Jun 6, 2013 11:51 AM

    Have to say that I disagree with the ‘slippery slope’ approach. Living in this country doesn’t actively endorse any of its laws. Voting for those who would put certain laws in place or fight to keep certain laws in place actively endorses it. Glad-handing with those who fight for or against laws and policies that you disagree/agree with actively endorses those people to a certain degree.

    We live in a society where we do have the ability to fight to influence change that is aligned with our own moral/religious/intellectual standards and Matt Birk, who is widely known to be one of the sharpest guys around not only in the NFL but in life, certainly thought that through before making this very-likely-to-be-publicized decision and in the process is making his statement and fighting for the change he wishes to see happen in this country.

  35. somekat says: Jun 6, 2013 11:52 AM

    saying “thank you planned parenthood. god bless you”, is for all intents and purposes the same as saying “god bless planned parenthood”

    I honestly don’t care about the rest

  36. bigdaddyraven says: Jun 6, 2013 11:52 AM

    Mike, I agree with you 100%. What you said makes a world of sense regardless of where an individual stands. And contrary to what many people believe, life and politics can be mutually exclusive. Well done.

  37. woodsa22 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:52 AM

    Flawed Logic…

    America, as an entity, has a great number of people who support Birks point of view. This would allow Birk to continue to pursue his goal in this country. However, the current residents of the White House are quite clear that they do not support his point of view.

    This means that he can oppose the current residents of the White House and yet still fully support his country as an active citizen.

  38. cbass59 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:52 AM

    No one missed you Birk.

  39. nomercy2012 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:53 AM

    His loss. If you have such “respect for the office of the Presidency” that certainly could have been enough to take a trip with your teammates to the White House to be congratulated on a job well-done.

    Some people will use any reason to show their disrespect to the sitting President of the United States. I’m sure he wasn’t going to have Planned Parenthood there passing out abortion fliers. No, it was all about honoring the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.

    But oh well – those championship rings are like..a dime a dozen anyway right? I mean, anybody can get one. It’s not like it takes real hard work or anything. [sarcasm]

  40. zaggs says: Jun 6, 2013 11:54 AM

    “So if traveling to the White House with a Super Bowl championship-winning football team “endorses” abortion, doesn’t living in a country that allows abortions to happen do the same thing?”

    What dumb sick logic is that? He didn’t go to the White House because of the Presidents VERY pro abortion views. Just to give you an idea of Obama’s views, know what Kermit Gosnell is headed to jail for? Obama voted to allow it to happen in Illinois.

  41. SAV says: Jun 6, 2013 11:54 AM

    The mind is a dangerous place. One can be intelligent yet so limited is truly a psychological conundrum to have the opportunity to walk where Lincoln lived and turn it down do to partisanship boggles the mind. Especially considering that to my knowledge Birk has made no active inroads in the political arena beyond the breath of his lungs.

  42. kgun80 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:55 AM

    Just show up!! It’s the president of our country. If you don’t agree with the presidents politics, that’s fine speak your mind. But don’t say it’s because him saying ” God bless” to a group you don’t agree with . Doesn’t the bible teach to love and that we should share our blessings and teachings? Isn’t Gods love supposed to be for everyone, but like most modern conservatives Burke believes that’s only intended for people they agree with. I’m not religious and I’m not a liberal but this is why I would never be a conservative republican they don’t even know what they disagree with… He didn’t even know the quote that caused him to make this decision.

  43. danielcp0303 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:55 AM

    Just because you “believe” or don’t believe in something, doesn’t mean it should be illegal. Apparently Matt Birk thinks he knows what’s best for all women.

  44. cassrangers says: Jun 6, 2013 11:55 AM

    I’m just glad to hear someone standing up for what they believe in, and now allowing the media to dictate what they do or say. Kudos Matt.

  45. godofwine330 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:57 AM

    Abortions? Really? This is really selfish and closed minded. I was deployed to Kuwait in 2006 in a war started by President G.W. Bush, and if I was to have a medal pinned on during that time I would have gone with him pinning it on even though him and his cronies is why I was over there risking my life.

    Abortions are the business of the woman that does not want a child ONLY. Period. End of discussion. If you are against abortion, don’t get one, but to lambaste anyone who supports a woman’s right to choose is out of their minds. I know people who had their kid b/c they were against abortions – even though they didn’t want a kid, and they treated the kid like crap their entire lives – but they didn’t get an abortion. I guess that scenario is better, huh, Birk?

    Abortion is between the woman who doesn’t want the kid and herself. Unless you are willing to kick in $30k/yr to everyone who wants to get an abortion to change their minds you have no say. And even then you have no say. Her choice, stay out of it.

  46. damnsureis says: Jun 6, 2013 11:57 AM

    He has a right to his opinion just like I have a right not to care what his opinion is.

  47. hagigun says: Jun 6, 2013 11:57 AM

    Sure, most Catholics/Republicans are against abortion. It’s an honorable position. However where the disconnect lies, is in the fact that they do not want to pay 1 dime towards social assistance once the baby is born.

    So it seems people like Birk care more about an unborn fetus than they do about actual LIVING human beings. It just doesn’t add up.

    People that can not afford to raise a child should not have them…but if they do, we still need to have ways to rectify that. Lets not limit the choices of our citizens Birk. We all don’t want to live under some 2,000 year old sky god dictatorship.

  48. duffelbagsports says: Jun 6, 2013 11:58 AM

    This wasn’t about Birk honoring the President it was about the President honoring Birk and his teammates. Part of being on a team is you sacrifice your agenda for the good of the team. Mistake not to go. Tim Thomas did the same thing when the Bruins went and the folks here in Mass. tore him a new one.

  49. mobuccsfan says: Jun 6, 2013 11:58 AM

    The great thing about this–it’s his personal choice–thanks to that thing we call freedom; which we may or may not have much longer. I for one can see the argument on both sides and have always been torn on this issue. I really think if it is a case of it being a rape/incest-related type thing (child molestation sadly) or if the pregnancy can kill the baby anyways, and/or the mother or just prove harmful (death) to the mother, then I think it should be allowed. I also then think about how some people realize they aren’t stable/mentally suited to handle the responsibilities or fiscal responsibilities for a child so then they do what they feel is right.

    Personally, I’m more in favor of the emergency contraception (Plan B) than anything else as at that point it is nothing more than killing off an egg and sperm so contraception can’t occur. I’d hope even then, abortions, when done would happen as quick as possible in the pregnancy–like within two weeks to a month, no more–as then it becomes (from all I’ve ever heard on this matter) not “as bad not enough functions for it to be a live” etc. However, I realize life is important, it is beautiful and precious. We shouldn’t take anything for granted. In a perfect world, people would just slow down on the breeding and procreating in the first place–maybe get fixed quicker for those who already have one or two kids, practice the safest sex possible and/or just abstain. Hard, I know but again, that is why I said in a perfect world. It would be my hope that we see a decrease finally, through positive actions and education, on people reproducing. WE are approaching 9 billion people on this planet, which wasn’t designed or meant to harbor this many people. More food shortages, water crisis, etc etc can lead to bad things, not to mention all the damage done daily on this planet with the 6.5-7 billion we have now.

    This is a very tricky/hot-topic issue to debate because I can see both sides. I don’t like the idea of murder–of anyone, and especially something so young and defenseless. I think there are certain occasions where one would be okay or should be allowed but don’t believe they should just be done because people were irresponsible and made some bad choices. If any of this makes sense? Lol, very tough call either way.

  50. nnagi says: Jun 6, 2013 12:00 PM

    What do you mean you don’t believe in abortion? Abortion exists. Like Matt Birk and Florio, I’m Catholic and I don’t personally support abortion, but I know that it exists

  51. zaggs says: Jun 6, 2013 12:01 PM

    “parasonic says:
    Jun 6, 2013 11:42 AM
    Just another person using their personal religious beliefs to assume they know what’s best for everyone else. Lucky to live in the US where I can believe what I want and not be persecuted for it.”

    Yet you are persecuting Birk for his beliefs. Also how is himself not going somewhere assuming he knows whats best for everyone else?

  52. bobby2478 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:02 PM

    Sounds like Birk is buying into the talking points about Planned Parenthood being basically an abortion clinic.

    While yes they do perform some abortions, that is far from their main service.

    For many low and middle income women, Planned Parenthood is an affordable source of health care and provides services such as mammograms and cancer screenings.

    For teens and young adults (including men and women) they provide sexual health services and STD screenings and treatment.

    They provide many many more important services and benefits to society then just being an abortion clinic.

  53. zaggs says: Jun 6, 2013 12:03 PM

    “jetfand says:
    Jun 6, 2013 11:50 AM
    I am Prl Life like you and Birk. Fully respect his stance but maybe he could have gone to White House wearing the Pro Life Rose and shown support that way?”

    No one in the media would have said jack and he knew that. More media coverage this way.

  54. kevpft says: Jun 6, 2013 12:03 PM

    Nothing says “championing what you believe in” like staying home and pouting. If he feels so strongly about it, why not go there and tell the prez what he thinks about it? He’s got an invitation and would be right there – if he really believes what he’s saying, staying home and whining about it is the LAST thing he should be doing.

    In short, this doesn’t make him brave, it makes him a coward.

    (For the record, I don’t like abortion, but strongly support the legal right to it so long as there are so many onerous legal, financial, cultural, and religious burdens placed on women. We can talk about ending it once all of the other crap we unfairly do to and expect of women has been ended. Until then, society shares the blame, no matter how much anyone wants to disagree.)

  55. sogymath says: Jun 6, 2013 12:03 PM

    I certainly respect Birk decision. Riding that slippery slope may be a bit much. Birks faith guided his decision and I am certain he stands on the moral grounds. At the very least he will get press on an issue he holds dear. I really have no clue why you would bring up Constitutional rights… a bit baffled. I am quite certain God cares less about whats on a piece of paper in Washington. There are plenty of sins out there that are completely constitutional, but what does that mean here??? There are plenty of “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences in this world. Just b/c they come around once does not make them worthy of experiencing. I have lost total trust in the current administration and a visit to the White House does not excite me. By the way I was certain sequestration was going to force them to cancel this event…. Just like they had to cancel the Thunderbirds from flying over the Air Force Academy graduation.

  56. georgiavol91 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:04 PM

    “Just another person using their personal religious beliefs to assume they know what’s best for everyone else. Lucky to live in the US where I can believe what I want and not be persecuted for it.”

  57. bearfan64 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:05 PM

    Thank You Matt Birk!!! you are a true inspiration!!!

  58. trapshoot says: Jun 6, 2013 12:05 PM

    Good for him standing up for his beliefs.

  59. CKL says: Jun 6, 2013 12:06 PM

    I am PRO abortion (I hate the BS of couching it in a softer PC term like “PRO CHOICE” so the people who feel so superior about it can refuse to think about what they are actually in favor of) for the first trimester only. That said, Planned parenthood uses our tax dollars to fund abortions and this I am 100% against. Perhaps that is one of Birk’s protests. If you are going to have an abortion, you need to pay for it, not taxpayers. And I agree with that 100%. Rights SHOULD come with responsibilities. And as the years go on, people want rights, but aren’t made to be responsible for their own choices and decisions.

    As to the premise of living in a country where abortion is legal while being against it as a slippery slope, I can’t agree. Penty of people disagree with drug laws and just stay here and do drugs anyway. Plenty of people drive drunk and murder people (which are against th elaw) and stay anyway. How is that any different?

  60. xxsweepthelegxx says: Jun 6, 2013 12:06 PM

    What does Matt (or other strict Catholics) think about someone getting an abortion if impregnated by way of rape?
    Dont let religion get in the way of life people. the “great book” was written thousands of years ago and is filled with many wonderful life lessons, manners, etc… But use your brain…it’s 2013. Do you believe in eye for an eye too Mr. Birk?

  61. justsomerandomguy24 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:09 PM

    I hope no one ever infringes upon his freedom to sit out the trip to the White House. Maybe someday he will stop trying to get the government to infringe upon other peoples’ freedom…

  62. sportnman says: Jun 6, 2013 12:09 PM

    He has the right to do whatever he pleases. But here is where the stupidity falls into place. Instead of broadcasting to “Us” about your views Mr. Birk, you just passed on a chance to voice your views face to face with the President of the USA! Not too many of us happen to get that kind of audience. If you want to change things, start at the top.

  63. usmutts says: Jun 6, 2013 12:09 PM

    Mr. Birk did not display the courage of his convictions at all. It takes no courage to stay home. He abandoned an opportunity to display his convictions. He could have gone to the White House with his teammates. He could have shaken the presidents hand and said “I’m pleased to meet you Mr. President, but I must tell you that I disagree with you on abortion rights.”

    I don’t always agree with the president, but I would love to have the opportunity to meet him, shake his hand, and say something like “I’m pleased to meet you Mr. President, but I must tell you that I disagree with your decision not to instruct the Attorney General in 2009 to prosecute Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for war crimes.”

  64. kevpft says: Jun 6, 2013 12:10 PM

    dwinsgames says:
    Jun 6, 2013 11:48 AM
    I can see both sides of the issue, but can anyone explain to me how a religion can oppose BOTH birth control AND abortion. If you tell people that they can’t do the former, it is absolutely certain you are going to end up with more of the latter!

    ———

    EXACTLY. THIS. Even if your book of rules (or the subjective interpretation of it) tells you that both things are banned, if you can’t prioritize things in a way that protects life, there’s blood on your hands.

  65. hpeters77 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:10 PM

    I dont agree with abortion either, but I also dont agree with the death penalty. I am independent, I would not miss the chance to go to the White House because of that. Sometimes I think its more of an underlying thing then what people are saying, I never recalled people missing the White House when Bush or Clinton was in.

  66. trytobnimble says: Jun 6, 2013 12:11 PM

    Yes. Just what we need. Holding the catholic church up as a model of decent moral behavior.

  67. kcflake says: Jun 6, 2013 12:11 PM

    Good for You Mr. Birk.

  68. tannerthoughts says: Jun 6, 2013 12:11 PM

    Mike Florio,

    In this piece you mentioned you were Catholic. In another piece (either this morning or last night) about Matt Barkley, you mention you were Christian. I am confused. Which religion are you? They are not the same!

  69. turkjones says: Jun 6, 2013 12:12 PM

    “I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

    –Sister Joan Chittister

  70. flaccodelic says: Jun 6, 2013 12:12 PM

    Whether it’s Matt Birk speaking up on pro-life stuff or Brendan Ayanbadejo speaking up on marriage equality stuff, there’s one common denominator to almost every pro athlete taking up a cause: The athlete’s hope that it opens doors for them personally in their next career, politics or broadcasting or both.

    Birk wants to go into politics, doesn’t want a picture of him shaking Obama’s hand seen. Ayanbadejo knew his career was winding down, wanted his name out there a little more than his play warranted.

    You don’t see too many athletes taking these stands in the prime of their career.

  71. kcflake says: Jun 6, 2013 12:12 PM

    I am surprised PFT put this article out there. As liberal as PFT is.

  72. ravensterpsarmystrong says: Jun 6, 2013 12:13 PM

    Good article. Just imagine, living in a country where one can think, say, and do without being persecuted! He should get his facts and quotes straight being from Harvard and all – LOL! I disagree with his decision to not join his teammates in accepting the congratulations from the POTUS but respect it. His loss on building a lifetime memory in capping off the championship and despite his political and religion beliefs I bet he won’t be running to live in another country! GO RAVENS!

  73. xxsweepthelegxx says: Jun 6, 2013 12:13 PM

    I agree Florio, Matt needs to pay attention to the detail more. Grammar is important!

    “Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your Uncle jack off a horse”
    -unknown-

  74. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 6, 2013 12:14 PM

    jaxbeachjagfan says:Jun 6, 2013 11:42 AM

    There are flights leaving every single day Mr. Birk. See, in AMERICA, you don’t get to impose your beliefs on everyone else and vice versa. Ain’t it grand?
    ______

    At what point was Birk trying to impose his beliefs on anyone?

  75. sogymath says: Jun 6, 2013 12:14 PM

    “Just another person using their personal religious beliefs to assume they know what’s best for everyone else. Lucky to live in the US where I can believe what I want and not be persecuted for it.”

    Yeah….this works great when you disagree with the belief. Pro abortion is a belief. So who is right?How about we do not persecute Birk for his beliefs. Wait wait we disagree with his so he is an over bearing religious type.

  76. pixelito says: Jun 6, 2013 12:14 PM

    Who is going to take care of all these unwanted babies?

    Certainly not Birk, or anything other of these self-righteous wingnuts

  77. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:15 PM

    Kudos to Matt Birk for this.

  78. westampa says: Jun 6, 2013 12:15 PM

    Does going to Catholic Church every Sunday = him endorsing the Catholic Church covering up child abuse?

  79. jphilip312 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:15 PM

    dwinsgames says:
    Jun 6, 2013 11:48 AM
    I can see both sides of the issue, but can anyone explain to me how a religion can oppose BOTH birth control AND abortion. If you tell people that they can’t do the former, it is absolutely certain you are going to end up with more of the latter!

    ———————————————–

    When sex is viewed solely as a right (along with freedom, driving, drinking, etc.) rather than a responsibility you take all of the consequence out of the decision. Sex was not intended to be a means for pleasure but a means for procreation. If you do not want to get pregnant, do not have sex. If you do not want to get a DUI (or kill someone driving drunk), do not drink and drive. It is that simple. As a mature adult, you cannot abdicate your responsibility and live without consequences to your actions. We scream for freedom but freedom is a responsibility.

  80. gammynomnom says: Jun 6, 2013 12:15 PM

    Any word on Birks beliefs on associating with people who murder people with a stabbing motion?

  81. peytonwantsaflag says: Jun 6, 2013 12:16 PM

    that’s some really bad logic there all the way thru – from disagreeing with the president means you need to renounce your citizenship to feeling bad that he deprived himself of something. I, like Birk, and a large percentage of people in this country would never step foot in any place if it meant having to shake hands with that guy.

  82. baily67 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:17 PM

    Good for you Matt Birk. Proud of you!

  83. beavertonsteve says: Jun 6, 2013 12:19 PM

    Florio’s taking the South Park Metallica Stance

    Standing up for Progressive Causes – GOOD
    Standing up for Conservative Causes – BAD!

  84. boredfootball says: Jun 6, 2013 12:20 PM

    Yes I’m sure Matt Birk never had premarital sex and his wife was a virgin before marriage. Because… you know… if she wasn’t the bible says she shall be executed.

    It always amazes me how people of religion get to pick and choose what “rules” are important. Abortion/gay rights etc.

  85. gurnblanstonreturns says: Jun 6, 2013 12:21 PM

    Nothing like principled selfishness to make a point. Way to put yourself above the team and the presidency, Birk. His blather about respecting the office was a backhanded insult to a twice-elected president for petty political purposes. Birk certainly seems fully prepared to hit the ground running in the fact-free, hyperbolic GOP. Thanks for dragging a Super Bowl celebration into your personal politics – real classy.

    I guess Flacco should be glad Birk announced his retirement. One slip of the tongue in the huddle that Birk doesn’t agree with and that Mike linebacker gets a free shot.

  86. bigbluefan11 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:21 PM

    Religion, politics, and football should never mix. NEVER. This is my issue with Tim Tebow. Had the same issue with Ray Lewis. Every time a camera turns on, thumped their bible. Keep it in church. It’s your right. I don’t need or want to see it. I hope Matt Birk is not the next NFL bible thumper. If so, it’s time to retire and go into politics.

  87. buddysguys says: Jun 6, 2013 12:21 PM

    yeah becuase thats why they were invited there in the first place to talk about hot button issues> Not becuase they won the biggest sporting event in the world.

    as for abortion its not your choice its the womans. GET OVER IT.

  88. kerryc21realty says: Jun 6, 2013 12:23 PM

    Good for you Birk, it’s always politically correct for liberals to protest or speak out for an anti God message or a gay message, it’s about time someone spoke out about a conservative cause
    GOOD JOB MATT

  89. bordner says: Jun 6, 2013 12:23 PM

    It’s too bad. Planned Parenthood actually does a lot of things other than abortions. Things like providing medical services for women and children that aren’t able to afford them. Their main goal is education and prevention of STD’s and unwanted pregnancies, but the impression that most uniformed people have of them is that they’re just abortion clinics. Regardless of your feelings about abortion (I’m personally against abortion as a form of birth control, but believe that it should remain legal in other situations), Planned Parenthood out to be some sort of evil organization.

    I remember Chewy blowing off the WH visit for political reasons after the Packers won the Super Bowl in ’96. He was pretty much painting himself as someone who was better than the President and didn’t want to be near him or shake his hand. Turned out later that he had more in common with him than he was letting on…

    But still, I respect Birk’s right to his opinion. I’m sure he won’t, but hopefully this isn’t something that he’ll regret later in life.

  90. wisewoo says: Jun 6, 2013 12:24 PM

    Hey… No matter if you Agree or Disagree with PP

    It’s the fact that Birk has that choice to have an opinion and express his voice that makes our country great.

  91. dg0122 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:26 PM

    Birk has just as much right to speak his mind as Kluwe does

  92. floriosbigtoe says: Jun 6, 2013 12:28 PM

    Big deal. Simple solution. If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one.

  93. salmondude says: Jun 6, 2013 12:29 PM

    Keeping the Sabbath holy is one of the 10 Commandments of the Catholic Church.

    Hard for me to see how smashmouth football is consistent with this Commandment.

    Perhaps Mr. Birk needs to boycott his Sunday games too?

  94. tannerthoughts says: Jun 6, 2013 12:29 PM

    “Religion, politics, and football should never mix. NEVER. This is my issue with Tim Tebow. Had the same issue with Ray Lewis. Every time a camera turns on, thumped their bible. Keep it in church. It’s your right. I don’t need or want to see it. I hope Matt Birk is not the next NFL bible thumper. If so, it’s time to retire and go into politics.”

    As Christians, we are called to go out and make disciples. That is exactly what Tebow and others try to do through the media. It may not be the most effective way to do it, but they are trying to live out their faith no matter what profession they are in.

  95. trojan33sc says: Jun 6, 2013 12:31 PM

    You have to be kidding me !!! So Matt has retired and is now making a stand against abortion. OK, so let’s ramp that up , did he take a poll of which NFL owner’s are “Pro/Against” abortion and if so did he refuse to play games on the fields of Pro-abortion NFL owners AND refuse his paycheck for those games??!!! Hell NO, he played and collected his cash like everyone else. His logic is ridiculous. For that matter did he refuse to associate with any ballplayers that were paying for abortions from all their wild night time behavior??? Too TOO MUCH !!!

  96. Stiller43 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:31 PM

    “Actually, President Obama didn’t say, “God bless Planned Parenthood.” He ended a speech to the group with the perfunctory, “Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you. God bless America.”

    Some will see that as a distinction without a difference.”

    Some? How are “God bless planned parenthood” and “thank you PP, god bless you” *any* different?

    Btw, i have no real opinion about what Birks doing, but he was right in what be percieved obama said.

  97. nfloracle says: Jun 6, 2013 12:32 PM

    Guys who say they don’t believe in abortion are guys who…

    1. Have never gotten a woman pregnant by mistake with a baby neither of them wanted

    or else

    2. Have never been thoughtful enough to put themselves in the shoes of a woman who has been impregnated with a child she didn’t want because she didn’t have the means, the maturity, or the emotional attachment to the fetus to have it and then do whatever she could as a single mother (like work three minimum wage jobs) to give it a happy life.

    I don’t see all the judgmental males who “don’t believe in abortion” adopting any of the babies they’re so quick to condemn woman for not giving birth to.

    You guys need to put yourself in the woman’s shoes. As for the Catholic Church, what do all those pedophile priests know about having children and why on earth is it any business of a church or religion to tell a woman what to do with HER body.

  98. leonem1 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:33 PM

    God bless planned parenthood.

  99. destructicus says: Jun 6, 2013 12:34 PM

    This IS a slippery slope. What happens if he has a daughter or a grand daughter who gets an abortion?

    I’m all for people deciding not to have abortions because they don’t believe them. But to act as if to impose your beliefs on others is to act with judgement, which is a little known no-no for Catholics (that’s for God to do).

  100. johngaltwho says: Jun 6, 2013 12:34 PM

    What a doofus. Why do people have to inject politics or religion into everything even when there is no context for it?

    Can you imagine if the White House disinvited every football player from a super bowl team if the player did or said something the White House found morally objectionable? Would make for a great photo – The President greeting three offensive starters, two backups and one assistant coach.

  101. bigpap says: Jun 6, 2013 12:35 PM

    pixelito says: Jun 6, 2013 12:14 PM

    Who is going to take care of all these unwanted babies?

    Certainly not Birk, or anything other of these self-righteous wingnuts

    ——————————————————-

    Antonio Cromartie?

  102. northstarnic says: Jun 6, 2013 12:37 PM

    Birk is just a right-winger looking for a pulpit. He misquoted Obama (I suspect intentionally) to make his point. Fact is, legal abortion is not new. Obama did not legalize it, just as Dubya did not make it illegal. And in spite of every right-winger’s insistence, PP does more than provide abortion services. Their other services for the health and protection of women are hugely valuable to our society. Birk is a republican looking for a reason not to honor the president because he doesn’t like the current president. Wrapping himself in the “pro-life” flag in this manner is disingenuous and dishonest. But that’s fine, it’s a free country and he is not obligated to respect the president, or be honest about his motives.
    However, it is a great honor and tradition that is afforded to champion pro athletes to meet the president. It is one that I would honor, given the chance, even if I was not a fan of the sitting president. But that’s just me.

  103. mediasloppy says: Jun 6, 2013 12:37 PM

    Maybe Birk should get off his high horse and look at the man who just became the Pope. Planned Parenthood is there to give women and men access to treatment every year…

    Abortion services account for about 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s activities. That’s less than cancer screening and prevention (16 percent), STD testing for both men and women (35 percent), and contraception (also 35 percent). About 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s users are over age 20, and 75 percent have incomes below 150 percent of the poverty line. Planned Parenthood itself estimates it prevents more than 620,000 unintended pregnancies each year, and 220,000 abortions. It’s also worth noting that federal law already forbids Planned Parenthood from using the funds it receives from the government for abortions.

  104. FinFan68 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:37 PM

    Political tantrums such as this are ridiculous. Did he use that logic when picking the man/team he was going to work for?

  105. brilskin says: Jun 6, 2013 12:38 PM

    Everything about this article and the follow-on comments are what’s RIGHT about this country. A liberal President expressing his beliefs, an athlete exercising his right to decline an invitation to the White House because his beliefs are counter to those of the President, and the American people being able to debate the whole thing in a forum like this. Nobody’s right or wrong in this and that’s the beauty of it.

  106. datrinity says: Jun 6, 2013 12:39 PM

    Way to go Matt, way to stand up for ur believes. Just cuz something is legal, doesn’t mean it’s morally right

  107. mhm0428 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:39 PM

    I don’t think he got up on a bully pulpit, pounded his chest and said I’m not going and here is why. According to the article a reporter asked him why he didn’t go. In terms of not going or going that is his own personal choice, but if he feels that strongly about his issue if he went there are pro life symbols that exisist that he could wear on the lapel of his jacket to let the President know where he stands. I don’t know anything about the guy, but he certainly has a right to his convictions and can excercise them how he would like.

  108. soumiss says: Jun 6, 2013 12:40 PM

    rsenist1 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:45 AM

    Berk starts by stating that he has respect for the presidency. Obviously, you don’t.

    He said that he had respect for the Office of the Presidency. Doesn’t mean that he has to respect the person currently in office.

  109. iluvbears says: Jun 6, 2013 12:42 PM

    Typical Matt Birk being passive aggressive. Ask Randy Moss.

  110. briscocountyjr says: Jun 6, 2013 12:43 PM

    Abortion– what a mirage of an issue. It’s never going anywhere, so go ahead and clap for the guy who’s stomping his feet about something that will never change. And it shouldn’t, we don’t need regulators policing our bodies. We know what history says about terrible black market procedures when it was banned— DID NOT work.

    Why do people care about this issue? Because many people, especially religious believers feel that their beliefs can/should be imposed on others.

    Who cares Birk, take a hike, you’re an ex-football player.

  111. joshuavkidd says: Jun 6, 2013 12:45 PM

    whatever happened to “No religion, no politics..?” I come here to read about sports… not to listen to everyone call out the beliefs and political opinions of everyone else. Is that asking to much?

  112. xerodeep says: Jun 6, 2013 12:46 PM

    First of all, I am also Catholic and good for Birk for holding to his beliefs!

    But Florio, as for your comment, “So if traveling to the White House with a Super Bowl championship-winning football team “endorses” abortion, doesn’t living in a country that allows abortions to happen do the same thing?”

    No, it does not! I agree that Birk COULD go to the White House without the impression that he is “endorsing” abortion. But instead, Birk is drawing further attention to an issue he believes in by not visiting a President that does, in fact, “endorse” abortion and himself feels like he would be endorsing abortion if he did. Are you saying that he feels that visiting the White House endorses abortion, he should also leave the country to further prove his point? If you truly believe abortion is wrong and kills innocent unborn children, shouldn’t you instead, stay and fight for those unborn children using the political process that this great nation has designed? Leaving to avoid “endorsing” that particular law would only be more like giving up and allowing the people that remain to continue aborting unborn children and pretending that it is no longer your problem. Instead, he makes a statement and fights for his beliefs by not attending the White House. Good for him.

    Not to mention if living in a country endorses all of its laws, you might as well create your own country populated only by you (and good luck doing that and living by only your laws and not the laws of the land you live in) because you cannot tell me that you agree with every single law of any one single country. So yes, not attending a single event or place to avoid “endorsing” a law or practice can be separated from “endorsing” the law or practice by completely leaving the country which enforces those laws and practices.

  113. kingraven75 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:47 PM

    Mr. Birk the IRS is on line 1. They say theyhave a few questions for you.

  114. tannerthoughts says: Jun 6, 2013 12:47 PM

    salmondude says: Jun 6, 2013 12:29 PM

    Keeping the Sabbath holy is one of the 10 Commandments of the Catholic Church.

    Hard for me to see how smashmouth football is consistent with this Commandment.

    Perhaps Mr. Birk needs to boycott his Sunday games too?

    What makes you think the Sabbath has to be on Sunday salmondude?

  115. fground says: Jun 6, 2013 12:48 PM

    The abortion argument is obviously complex. When is a life a life – at fertilization, onset of brain function, birth? Should men have a say in the issue at all…it’s not their body? What about conditions – rape, incest, threat to the life of the mother?

    People seem to want to take absolute positions and don’t want to work to understand a very complex issue and try to find the best solution. If you haven’t educated yourself about the above factors or at least given them some serious thought – then you probably shouldn’t speak to the issue.

    I find people who get hung up in an ideology do so because they are too lazy and frightened to deal with the challenging nature of life. Matt Birk strikes me as a capable thinker – but a lazy one.

  116. maiphatdong says: Jun 6, 2013 12:49 PM

    Birk, Florio….how many adopted kids do you have?

  117. tsizzlesucks says: Jun 6, 2013 12:49 PM

    Birk will be ble to visit Obama in prison…he doesn’t need to travel to DC. And it’s too bd Osma’s mm didn’t believe in abortion!

  118. myspaceyourface says: Jun 6, 2013 12:49 PM

    THIS COUNTRY was founded on a SET OF BELIEFS

    Our laws and founding documents were taken straight from the Bible. Our moral code and the very fiber of this country was founded on freedom to worship God the way He wanted them to.

    It has become everything but that and today we see the consequences of violating the Laws of God, Scriptures, and founding documents of this country.

    You may not agree with this, but it is true.

  119. nagaswan says: Jun 6, 2013 12:49 PM

    Wait, Birk loves Obama except for that one line? What about all the things that came before, since? What an idiot.

  120. jm91rs says: Jun 6, 2013 12:50 PM

    danielcp0303 says: Jun 6, 2013 11:55 AM

    Just because you “believe” or don’t believe in something, doesn’t mean it should be illegal. Apparently Matt Birk thinks he knows what’s best for all women.

    ___________________________________

    Would you use this same logic if abortion were illegal? You’re criticizing Birk for not knowing what’s best for all women and clearly making the assumption that the Supreme Court knows what’s best.

  121. northstarnic says: Jun 6, 2013 12:51 PM

    Note that Birk didn’t fault Obama over something that requires real thought/debate (healthcare reform, the Economy, taxation/IRS reform). He chose to focus on abortion and made it about religion. BS. It’s a political issue for Mr. Hahvahd and he chose to focus on a wedge issue. Abortion isn’t going anywhere (unless you’re from the desolate wasteland of N. Dakota), and Birk knows it. Just appealing to the simpletons for his future political aspirations. What a clown.

  122. kdentify says: Jun 6, 2013 12:53 PM

    It’s unfortunate that most people associate Planned Parenthood solely with abortions, because it does so many other things, especially for low-income women and families, like provide clinical care, birth control, and cancer screenings. Thank Planned Parenthood for providing those women and children with access to doctors and medical care, because without those clinics, even more people would be crowding the nation’s Emergency Rooms for ailments that aren’t life threatening. Support for Planned Parenthood doesn’t equate to support for abortion services. When you give to PP, you can direct that your money be used for cancer screenings, etc., and away from abortion services.

  123. flannlv says: Jun 6, 2013 12:55 PM

    I don’t agree with Birk, but I respect his right to hold his beliefs.

  124. willyshock says: Jun 6, 2013 12:55 PM

    Here’s where this gets silly: The primary mission of Planned Parenthood is the prevention of unintended pregnancy. That’s why it’s called Planned Parenthood. This should be obvious. 95% of what they do involves reproductive counseling and contraception. Yes, they do provide referrals for legal, medically safe procedures. Some may disagree with propriety of abortion. That is their right under the constitution. Some may feel the procedure is something they must do. That is their right under the law and the constitution. The simple truth is that by providing the counseling and contraception services that they do, Planned Parenthood prevents millions of abortions every year. Remember, the best way to prevent abortion is to prevent pregnancy.

  125. belicheckisgod says: Jun 6, 2013 12:57 PM

    I respect Birks right not to attend if he doesn’t feel like it for whatever reason he feels fit. Furthermore I’ve never understood why any championship teams from any sports visit the president and the White House, I’ve always felt politicians should do much less bs speeches and appearances and actually perform the duties they are elected to do… Wishful thinking on my part.

  126. gpry says: Jun 6, 2013 12:59 PM

    “There are flights leaving every single day Mr. Birk. See, in AMERICA, you don’t get to impose your beliefs on everyone else and vice versa. Ain’t it grand?”

    What flawed logic….no one then is allowed to have an opinion. You are an example of political correctness out of control, sounds like you need to take one of those planes to china

  127. immafubared says: Jun 6, 2013 12:59 PM

    The Presidents personal beliefs are that abortions are OK, and Birks beliefs aren’t. The issue, should that stop him from attending the celebration. The only person qualified to answer that is Mr Birk.

  128. mdagnew1 says: Jun 6, 2013 12:59 PM

    I love what Birk did… Ayanbedejo stands up for his beliefs and he is a pioneer. Birk stands up for what he thinks is right and he is vilified.

    The PC world we live in now sucks… if you don’t agree with what is PC, you are racist, or a bible thumper..

  129. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Jun 6, 2013 1:00 PM

    What a complete moron. Totally his loss though. I couldn’t care less if he goes or doesn’t go and I definitely don’t care about his views on abortion. I do know that he just missed out on a once in a life time opportunity because he is an ideologue though.
    I wonder if he would have gone to the Bush White House considering the thousands of people who have been killed in the two wars he started. My guess is that he would have

  130. geo1113 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:00 PM

    fground says:
    Jun 6, 2013 12:48 PM
    The abortion argument is obviously complex. When is a life a life – at fertilization, onset of brain function, birth? Should men have a say in the issue at all…it’s not their body? What about conditions – rape, incest, threat to the life of the mother?

    Matt Birk strikes me as a capable thinker – but a lazy one.
    ———————

    A devout Catolic would say life begins at conception. If that is what you think then abortion is taking a life, i.e. murder. I wouldn’t call that lazy thinking.

  131. pw1265 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:01 PM

    It just goes to show you, you always have one complete idiot in the crowd, and MATT BIRK is the complete idiot!!! Loser

  132. 11inthebox says: Jun 6, 2013 1:02 PM

    Well said, kdentify.

  133. ahostiletakeover says: Jun 6, 2013 1:02 PM

    The basis for being anti-abortion is a purely religious one, which is fine. What I don’t understand is why people get so up in arms about strangers having abortions. If God does exist, do Christians really think once they get to the gates that God will turn them away because they didn’t do more to stop others’ abortions? No one is forcing an expecting Christian couple to have an abortion and they never will. Someone else’s choices should never weigh on your own conscience. I’m not a religious person whatsoever but on a personal level, if I get my girlfriend pregnant, we are having that child unless the birth itself threatens her life. What someone else decides to do in similar circumstances is really none of my business. Props to Birk for sticking to his guns, I’ll just never understand the big issue with the option to have an abortion from my perspective.

  134. scchamil says: Jun 6, 2013 1:04 PM

    Planned Parenthood actually does a lot of things to prevent abortions (sex ed/contraceptive distribution, etc.). I don’t know anyone who is pro-abortion… but if you view abortion as a societal problem that is going to exist in a significant back-alley form no matter what laws you make, then planned parenthood or organizations like it are not the problem. I’m not going to argue that we shouldn’t have stricter abortion laws and that PP couldn’t be a better run organization… but I’m always surprised when people conflate it so that anyone who supports PP is supporting abortion.

  135. mustangmach says: Jun 6, 2013 1:05 PM

    Tim Thomas got unfairly fried as a racist, with absolutely no proof that he is such , for exercising his RIGHT as an American to state his beliefs, and attend or not attend functions as he sees fit.

    Good Luck to Matt Birk. Snubbing the Annoited One pretty much automatically gets you on the ‘Default Racist’ list. BTW, no facts are required to get you on that list, other than the balls to dare disagree publicly.

  136. datrinity says: Jun 6, 2013 1:06 PM

    Lol, it’s funny how this article says Matt is against abortion and some stretch it out and say Matt’s against premarital sex. If you aren’t prepared to have a baby you shouldn’t be having sex. If you want to have sex and you don’t want to get pregnant take the pill, get the shot, take the morning after pill, use a condom, or get that implant girls get. If you get pregnant unexpectedly, your pretty dumb

  137. immafubared says: Jun 6, 2013 1:08 PM

    Why are these teams even going to the White House anymore. Its a stupid idea. ‘Gee whiz, the president I didn’t vote for and can’t stand wants to honor me and my team’. I mean every team has someone like this on it that really could care less and decides not to go.

    Birk is just the most recent but not the first and its getting to be more prevalent in the past few years.

    One athlete decided not to go because he did it once before and said it was a been there done that thing and he had other things going on at the time. No one chopped his head off.

  138. watermelon1 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:09 PM

    The bigger issue here is… The president should not be involving himself with sports at all. He should be focusing on these same issues that are argued over every day but never settled.

    Maybe work on the economy?

    And no, don’t ask me how. That’s not my job. But for all the time the president spends on ESPN, picking brackets, meeting teams, scrimmaging the UNC basketball team, thinking up jokes for ray Lewis and Ed reed and Jacoby jones…. You’d think he’s not really too concerned about the ACTUAL issues.

  139. Ridley Me This says: Jun 6, 2013 1:09 PM

    Can everyone please read willyshock’s post? He puts it more eloquently then I ever could.

  140. arrowtoyourknee says: Jun 6, 2013 1:10 PM

    Why not take the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the President, whether you hate him or not, it’s still an experience that most can’t say they’ve had….
    And leave the abortion argument to those who have to personally deal with the weight of the situation,(Pregnant females) because ultimately, whether you like it or not, it’s their choice what happens with anything in their own body. You believe abortion is wrong? Fine. Don’t get an abortion. But to the people who either financially can’t afford it, or like the unfortunate situation when a girl gets raped, abortions make a lot more sense. It’s not always bad, and it’s not the same as if you’d just off someone walking down the street. There may be a heartbeat, there may be brain activity. But the same could be said about a rodent, and we happily exterminate those en mass.
    Religious beliefs should have absolutely no impact on laws. I’m pretty sure that’s one of the main reasons America fought for independence in the first place?

  141. voiceofreason18 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:10 PM

    I think Birk is a fool. What if those 330k kids were born per year.. U guys in the top tax bracket would be crying about how high taxes are. Along with all brackets. Who do u think will be paying for those children whose parents dont want them?=Taxpayer. But money isnt that important(though it would be a huge number). What about the girl that was a victim of a rape? Should she have to give birth to a child whose father attacked her? That is to me the true reason its a good option for woman. Along with certain others. This is AMERICA. People make their own choices. Who are we to make them belief or force them to do anything? Grow up and culture yourself. BTW IM CATHOLIC

  142. laffers says: Jun 6, 2013 1:11 PM

    Agree with him or not you must respect his beliefs. While my beliefs are different than his I give him a lot of credit for sticking to his guns

  143. denverbronconj says: Jun 6, 2013 1:11 PM

    Kudos to GodofWine330 for saying, “Abortions are the business of the woman that does not want a child ONLY. Period. End of discussion….Unless you are willing to kick in $30k/yr to everyone who wants to get an abortion to change their minds you have no say. And even then you have no say. Her choice, stay out of it.”

    It’s hilarious that the majority of the “right wing conservative religious” people who oppose abortions but don’t want to have the govt pay for any of the ancillary resources, such as planned parenthood, foster care, adoption agencies or single moms on welfare.

    You can’t have it both ways. Luckily, our forefathers had it right to separate the church and state, for this very reason.

  144. mustangmach says: Jun 6, 2013 1:13 PM

    Approximately 800000 up and coming Americans are aborted every year in the name of social and financial inconvenience.

    Don’t want a kid? Don’t do the act. That goes for men as well as women. You DO have a choice.

  145. btd5504 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:13 PM

    And secondly, any person that is against Planned Parenthood is against women in general.

    3% of the work done by Planned Parenthood are abortions. 3%! The amount of good that they do for women and children should WAAAY exceed people’s hatred for them performing an abortion.

    For Birk to say because Obama supports Planned Parenthoodm and all they do for women, that he won’t go to the White House is flat out dumb.

  146. steelfan1 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:15 PM

    For someone who went to Harvard that was an idiotic move. Abortion is legal in this country, so whatever the stance of the person in the President’s office wouldn’t change that fact.

    Also, the president is an institution and not a person. It is an honor to visit the White House, and this idiot said no, because the current president agrees with American Law that was settled some 30 plus years ago. Mind bugling how stupid you are Mr. Birk. Maybe all the years you been banging heads with Casey Hampton has caused some irreparable damage.

  147. wikipediasaidso says: Jun 6, 2013 1:17 PM

    Let’s go back and see if any players from Super Bowl teams prior to Obama taking office skipped the WH visit because they disagreed with Bush’s handling of the Iraq War (or the fact that there WAS a war in Iraq).

    $20 on them being called “un-American” if they did, by some of the same people praising Birk now.

  148. steeltroll says: Jun 6, 2013 1:17 PM

    I’m still waiting for someone to make this a political issue on political grounds, which is where it needs to be. Church and State are separate. So let’s talk about abortion and let’s talk about the civil and political foundations of the issue. That’s great Birk went to Harvard. I’m thinking his major was not political science or philosophy.

  149. mustangmach says: Jun 6, 2013 1:18 PM

    “So if traveling to the White House with a Super Bowl championship-winning football team “endorses” abortion, doesn’t living in a country that allows abortions to happen do the same thing?”

    Ridiculous logic fail. By calling the situation out, he is using the opportunity to make his beliefs known, much as abortion facility protesters make their beliefs known by their acts.

  150. broncostevenp says: Jun 6, 2013 1:18 PM

    He’s against abortion and gun control…..what I don’t understand is the #3 cause of death for kids under the age of 18 is murder/accident by the use of a gun. Isn’t that hypocritical?

    How many kids has Matt Birk adopted? There are thousands of kids needing homes right now…ones that don’t have health insurance or food on the table. If he is really that against abortion, then how many kids can be sent over to his house today? I bet he has a real nice place with plenty of extra bedrooms…why not spare a few?

  151. coachkew says: Jun 6, 2013 1:19 PM

    I was raised a catholic and changed religion because I didn’t agree with some of their teachings anymore. Equally important was the fact that kids were being molested by catholic priests and their only consequence was to be moved from parish to parish. With that said, I respect Birks decison because it’s one he made based on his convictions. And depending on what ailse you stand on you will interept the President’s quote to fit your argument. But here is one thing I never could understand: How do you not believe in abortion or a women’s right to chose? But you believe in the death penalty. Murder is murder…is it not? And those executed by way of the death penalty are fully developed humans, there no debating that…with the exception of the mentally retarded individuals that that we execute!

  152. scmaize says: Jun 6, 2013 1:20 PM

    First of all, by providing contraceptive services, especially to students, lower income women and people without insurance, Planned Parenthood prevents more abortions (by preventing unwanted pregnancies) than Matt Birk and all the anti-abortion groups put together. Second, there is nothing wrong with being respectful of people who hold views that are different from yours. Should the White House have denied an invitation to Matt Birk, because he and the President don’t agree on every issue? Of course not. When Americans refuse to cooperate with people who hold different views, it promotes divisiveness and prevents us from getting necessary things done. It can prevent us from providing service to our country. We all need to show respect and courtesy to one another. Free speech is not just for people who agree with us. We all need to work together as Americans.

  153. 11inthebox says: Jun 6, 2013 1:22 PM

    I’m sure EVERYONE here who praises Birk for sticking to his convictions, did the same thing when Rasheed Wallace, then of the Detroit Pistons, turned down a trip to the White House because he disagreed with George Bush’s decision to invade Iraq.

  154. dennlee says: Jun 6, 2013 1:22 PM

    Oh please.
    How many of you who don’t believe in a woman’s right to choice;

    Either adopt or help the millions of kids who need permanent families
    Don’t support the death penalty
    Are against war
    Want stricter gun laws.

    There are innocents who die in all of the above situations but abortion is different…….
    Enough already.

  155. nomercy2012 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:23 PM

    Birk wants to go into politics, doesn’t want a picture of him shaking Obama’s hand seen.

    ——

    And how sad is that? That we, as Americans, can be that uneducated about what our candidates STAND FOR, what their POLICY ISSUES are – that we wouldn’t vote for them simply because in their previous career as a member of a championship team, the had the opportunity to visit the White House and graciously accept the congratulations of the man who happened to be in office at the time.

    Wow. That handshake/photo-op automatically means he’s a staunch supporter and believer in all things Obama.

    If there is any truth to that – the shame is on us.

  156. wheels579 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:24 PM

    The irony of this is Birk exercised his freedom of choice in protest of society’s freedom to choose.

  157. whodatnhollywood says: Jun 6, 2013 1:29 PM

    Matt Birk blew a golden opportunity! If he’s so passionate about pro-life, attend the event and be man enough to tell the president in a respectful way, when he shakes your hand! I’d have far more respect for that! This was a blown opportunity!

    What happens if the owner of the Ravens is pro-abortion? Or pro same-sex marriage? Does Birk renounce his paycheck? If so, send it to me! I’ll cash it!

    What if his QB or the lineman playing next to him are OK with Planned Parenthood? Does he stop blocking? What if Ed Reed, Ray Lewis and Ray Rice are fine with this? Do you retire in your prime because you don’t agree with their views? And if they are, and don’t like Birk’s views, do they not watch his back?

    And what about all of the Catholics who work for the president or federal government? Do they all quit, lose their homes and starve their families because of Planned Parenthood? Where does it end? An inquiring mind wants to know.

    While I am not a fan of abortion and some other issues the president supports, I realize this event was not political, but historical~one for the ages~ for the players, coaches, organization, and their families to share with current and future generations. It would be wrong to deny my child or spouse this once in a lifetime honor when they may or may not have the same passion about this matter.

    It’s very difficult winning any kind of championship, and celebrating at the White House~in your team’s honor, is a nice perk. If you are there, that means NOT YOU~but your team did well. And there are a lot of players who would gladly take Birk’s place as a champion and have lunch at the White House.

  158. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jun 6, 2013 1:34 PM

    WHy are you all making such a big deal out of this? It’s a free country, he doesn’t have to go to the White House if he doesn’t want to.

    When he gets back to Minnesota, it would be nice if he went down to Winterpark to show the players his ring. Most of them will never get a chance to see one.

  159. richscanlon says: Jun 6, 2013 1:35 PM

    “but can anyone explain to me how a religion can oppose BOTH birth control AND abortion”

    Sure — Abortion is the killing of a human person, which is defined by the Catholic Church as beginning at the moment of conception/fertilization. Hence, regardless of what civil law says, the Catholic Church sees this act as murder and the gravest crime against humanity.
    Contraception is the preventing of a human life from coming into existence because of selfish, pleasurable reasons. The Catholic Church teaches that the marital act is the opportunity to image the Trinity. The Trinitarian persons (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit) are in essence selfless, self-giving love. Contraception is the opposite of selflessness and leads one, through a selfish act (pleasure only) to use another person. It is a grave offense to use another person, who the Catholic Church sees as being made in the image of God, so it has been consistent in its teaching. No religion accepted contraception for thousands of years until the Lambeth conference in the 1930’s when the Anglican church allowed for it in certain situations. The Catholic Church proclaims that God is Truth and Truth is unchangeable, hence, it has not changed its stance on matters of Faith and Morals since its founding.

  160. rao50858 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:46 PM

    Just the latest in a very long line of hypocrites standing behind the badge of a bible.

  161. patriotenvy says: Jun 6, 2013 1:46 PM

    As a service member and a combat veteran I had the opportunity to meet this president and shake his hand and I said no thank you. I wasn’t going to have some picture be taken and have people look at it and think ‘people in the military like him’.

  162. armeniandelight4 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:47 PM

    “And while, like Birk, I am Catholic and, like Birk, I don’t believe in abortion, Birk’s stance puts him on a slippery slope of logic that, taken to its extreme, could result in Birk renouncing his American citizenship.”

    Sorry, Mike, but last time I checked, having an opinion and making a decision in one’s own best interest are marks of courage and maturity. You don’t need to paternalize and pity Birk for the regret you think he will feel in denying himself this once-in-a-life-time-experience; it may seem to you that you are looking out for him, but in reality, this is an insult to his intelligence and maturity. He has his own life to live, and he cannot have you live it for him. And just for the sake of argument, if the possibility of Birk renouncing his citizenship were to actually come to fruition, so what? As if anyone has any right to tell someone that they should stay anywhere against their will. The guy has worked too hard, and has too much integrity and honor to be subject to such elementary overprotection.

  163. pem34 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:47 PM

    I was wondering where all the “respect the office” comments were in the other stories about Ravens who were not going to attend…

    Not that I will be invited as a member of a super bowl winning team, but I don’t really see the appeal in going to the White House for one of those ceremonies. Meeting the President would be ok I guess – I mean its no like your going to hang out with POTUS or even talk to him about anything of substance, probably 2 seconds of face time and a handshake – maybe not even that if you are sort of a nobody on the team. I don’t get it – and I certainly don;t get why people get so up in arms when people don’t go.

  164. kev86 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:55 PM

    I respect Birk for his decision based on his beliefs.

  165. delrmi05 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:58 PM

    No harm no foul. He chose to exercise is rights and practice the religion he wants to whatever degree he wants. He’s not pushing his belief on others. These issues are controversial for a reason and no matter my own opinion (because like most people I don’t have an answer) I respect him for his. Good for you Matt, and congrats on the Super Bowl win.

  166. eatitfanboy says: Jun 6, 2013 2:01 PM

    Many people don’t see a chance to go to the White House as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

    I, for one, would absolutely not shake hands with this President. I wouldn’t have shaken hands with the last one either. I don’t agree with Birk or you on this particular issue, but Obama has let me down on enough issues that are important to me that I do not respect him as a leader. That’s my right.

    the slippery slope you are on is your subtle inference that maybe if Birk doesn’t like the way the country is run, he should leave and renounce his citizenship.

    The simple fact of residing in a country to does not infer that you support the President in the same that going to the White House and shaking his hand on camera does. To assert something like that is ridiculous.

  167. munny10 says: Jun 6, 2013 2:06 PM

    WOW – can’t believe some of the comments slamming Birk for expressing his beliefs – its like freedom of speech only applies if they agree with your point of view. Sorry – the Constitution doesn’t work that way and I wish people wouldn’t get so angry about it. Would you rather have him cause more controversy and say he “doesn’t respect the President”? I have heard Birk has an interest in politics and I thought he handled it very respectfully – even if I don’t agree with all of his views/politics.

  168. profish13 says: Jun 6, 2013 2:08 PM

    I am a male and I find it pretty confusing that men feel they have the right to tell women what to do with their bodies. If the father is a decent person, then a discussion should be had but ultimately, the decision lies with the female.

    Last time I checked, men weren’t the ones giving birth. They weren’t the ones carrying a child for nine months, dealing with morning sickness, and all the other unpleasant things women have to deal with while pregnant.

    Even with that aside, what if the woman is raped? She should be forced to be constantly reminded of what happened, day in and day out while carrying the child?

    There are plenty of legitimate reasons why abortion is and should remain legal.

  169. CKL says: Jun 6, 2013 2:10 PM

    I think it’s funny that the vast majority of pro abortion people on here don’t seem to undertand what the reasoning is of people who are against it and put it all down to “religious zealotry” and then call them names. A lot of people who are against abotrion are not religious at all and view it as an individual rights issue. IE they feel the unborn is an individual with the right to a life, which they believe begins at conception. You might be more credible if you chose to understand your opposition’s arguments and reasoning instead of simply rail at them and namecall.

  170. lagg1 says: Jun 6, 2013 2:12 PM

    We live in a democracy where people make their own choices.

  171. hawksfan3737 says: Jun 6, 2013 2:14 PM

    I have to call “Shenanigans” on a bunch of those who say he should leave his beliefs out of it. Because, if say, Obama was against gay marriage and someone who was PRO Gay Marriage boycotted the White House, he would be called a hero for standing up for his beliefs. No one would say he should leave his feelings out of it. Matt Birk made a choice to avoid going, he didn’t call Obama a “baby murder” or anything like that. He gave up a once in a lifetime chance to meet the President of the United States. If he’s okay with missing that chance, that’ s on him. I don’t think anyone here has any right to tell him he had to go. He’s an adult and decided not to go. Everyone chill out. People are going to be on both sides of this issue and need to think how they would feel if the shoe was on the other foot. I just think people need to stop saying “be tolerant” and stuff if you’re not going to be tolerant of the opposing view point. Matt Birk not going to the White House didn’t have any impact whatsoever on my life or yours, get over it.

  172. realfootballfan says: Jun 6, 2013 2:21 PM

    What an idiot. I’m sure Planned Parenthood was the reason he didn’t attend, lol.

  173. turdbob says: Jun 6, 2013 2:24 PM

    I am not religious at all…I oppose abortion on ethical grounds. Killing a child in utero is no different than infanticide. It is all the same human being at different stages. A woman can “choose” to murder her child at anytime during her pregnancy, even the day before the child is born….It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the fact that killing an innocent human being is wrong…no matter the location, no matter the age, no matter the method. Abortion is just another name for murder….it is violent and barbaric….and has no place in a society that should be able to have better solutions than resorting to killing. I am thankful everyday my mother didn’t show up for her appointment at PP and gave me up for adoption instead. Every child should have the same opportunity given tome….No child should have their life taken from them.

  174. vikesandravens78 says: Jun 6, 2013 2:30 PM

    And it’s his right as an American citizen to freely disagree with the President. I doubt anyone will be renouncing their citizenship over this.

  175. revskip says: Jun 6, 2013 2:36 PM

    I wish that the people who throw out the freedom of speech argument actually had an iota of understanding of how the 1st amendment works.

    Also enjoying the irony of seeing many of the same people who slammed Kluwe and Ayanbadejo for expressing their views happily endorsing Birk expressing his.

  176. romoscollarbone says: Jun 6, 2013 2:37 PM

    Every year with almost every champ, it seems some self important person “doesn”t go” because they oppose a policy.

    The idea is to celebrate the team’s accomplishment, not develop policy for the country. Gimme a break.

    You’d probably get better PR and exposure for your cause if you went and when asked about the trip. Say “it was great, very honored to meet the President. While I disagree with his stance on XYZ, it was still a once in a lifetime moment”. And you come off looking the smarter man.

  177. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jun 6, 2013 2:45 PM

    When did we become so darn political sensitive in this country?

    Visiting the white house doesn’t mean you are endorsing any policies, just hangin’ with the chief and commander. A rare opportunity.

    Chillax people. While we are all americans, we aren’t going to agree on every single issue. And that’s OK.

  178. oslograss says: Jun 6, 2013 2:47 PM

    Birk has always been a sanctimonious SOB. Mr. Birk, you should know what this country needs more than anything is tolerance. Perhaps a better course of action would have been to go and discuss your concern directly with The President like a grownup instead of staying home and pouting about it on the radio. I am more than happy to let people have their own opinions as long as they give others the same consideration. ‘Boycotting’ is not tolerance, Mr. Birk. It’s a weak, weak footing to stand on.

  179. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Jun 6, 2013 2:57 PM

    There is an article for every former Raven that did not attend, but have not seen any mention of Steve Biscotti not attending.

  180. th56 says: Jun 6, 2013 2:59 PM

    Sad that he has to bring politics into a traditional white house visit. I can only imagine the furor that the right wingers would have released if someone had refused to visit Bush at the white house because they were against the war.

  181. tigerlilac says: Jun 6, 2013 3:02 PM

    willyshock, that may be the best summary of this subject I have read. Well said.

  182. b3nz0z says: Jun 6, 2013 3:12 PM

    how can you not believe in abortion? abortion clearly exists.

  183. fground says: Jun 6, 2013 3:17 PM

    geo1113 says:

    “A devout Catolic would say life begins at conception. If that is what you think then abortion is taking a life, i.e. murder. I wouldn’t call that lazy thinking.”

    I would.

  184. itsfootballbaby says: Jun 6, 2013 3:22 PM

    Like Obama or hate him (and I’m in the latter camp) the trip to the WH with your team is not political and it’s Matts’ loss. I like Matt Birk and respect his choice but I think he’s cutting off his nose to spite his face. I wish guys like Kluwe, Birk and Ayenbadejeo would leave politics out of football.

  185. gacoltfan says: Jun 6, 2013 3:35 PM

    I don’t agree with those that say he should have gone and then expressed his objections directly to the president in private. I doubt the President has time to meet with every player individually, therefore taking the Presidents time away from the team as a whole would have been disrespectful to those team members that want to meet the President.

    He doesn’t like this President’s policies so he doesn’t want to meet him. That is his right and he shouldn’t be criticized for it.

  186. bunkmcnulty says: Jun 6, 2013 3:48 PM

    You know if you get right down to it, I would bet that every man, woman, and child on this earth has some area they disagree with another on. Some are minor, others are major just like the issue that Matt Birk ultimately represents. But Matt doesn’t seem to be able to set the example of getting along with his fellow man despite differences. Great example Matt. This is a perfect example of what’s wrong with people today.

    I am Ravens fan, but before that I am Christian and a husband and a father. But I get one thing that Matt Birk and most of the Christian right will never get. I realize that it’s ok to think differently than me. And guess what? I am not going to hate you because of it.

    Ok, so Matt doesn’t like Obama. We get it Matt. Stand in line. But that’s true of any President. There are always people who you don’t like in life and they don’t like you. But somehow, my parents, my family, and my church taught me that you show up, be polite, and be respectful, be honest in your own opinions and at times you have to bear witness who others who believe differently. I have my values, but I also understand something called civility.

    Oh but let’s pat Matt on the back for standing by his convictions. Matt, one question…WWJD? Since this is done in the name of religion, what would your savior have done? Did he spurn all the sinners and ignore them? Or did he make himself “present” in their lives and in the lives of others and try to change the world one person at a time? If he acted like Matt Birk, who would have just avoided all those who did not think like him.

    Sitting at home did a world of good Matt. Way to make a celebration a controversy. Almost seems like exploitation of the event to make his point to me. How Christian of you.

  187. briang123 says: Jun 6, 2013 3:51 PM

    Unlike Kluwe, Birk is actually taking a politically unpopular decision that will get him the wrath of the media.

    Not to mention that he would be lauded if he did this to Bush. Doing it to Obama gets him ripped as well.

    Bravo, Mr. Birk.

  188. v2787 says: Jun 6, 2013 3:53 PM

    I have no doubt that Matt Birk is sincere. He also happens to be sincerely wrong. He’s just another right-wing bigot. The woods are full of them.

  189. purpleguy says: Jun 6, 2013 3:54 PM

    Spare me — standing up for his beliefs? That’s not the point. The point is to have enough respect for your team, your teammates, the office of the presidency and the country to celebrate the SB win. The point isn’t about Matt Birk’s beliefs. His selfishness takes away from the team’s moment, and regardless of his beliefs, he should respect the office of the presidency and his team. Saying he respects the presidency, yet not appearing and trashing the president shows actions are louder than words. This isn’t about abortion, it’s about selfishness and respect.

  190. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Jun 6, 2013 3:55 PM

    CKL says:
    Jun 6, 2013 2:10 PM
    I think it’s funny that the vast majority of pro abortion people on here don’t seem to undertand what the reasoning is of people who are against it and put it all down to “religious zealotry” and then call them names. A lot of people who are against abotrion are not religious at all and view it as an individual rights issue. IE they feel the unborn is an individual with the right to a life, which they believe begins at conception. You might be more credible if you chose to understand your opposition’s arguments and reasoning instead of simply rail at them and namecall

    First of all pro abortion isn’t the correct term. It’s pro choice. I’ve never met a single person in my life who is “pro abortion”. Sometimes difficult choices have to be made and, since I’m assuming you’re a man, you really have no idea what it’s like to be in the position to have to make such a choice.
    Secondly life does not begin at conception and so that argument falls flat. The mass that’s growing inside a woman could be an egg or an embryo or a zygote or whatever but up until a certain point (after which abortion is illegal) it is not viable outside of the woman’s body and is therefore not a human. This is what medical science says. It’s fine for anyone to disagree with what I just said and if they do then THEY should never have an abortion. Religion or no religion. It really doesn’t matter to me. What bothers me is the arrogance of people who think that they should be able decide what a woman can and cannot do with her own body.

  191. granadafan says: Jun 6, 2013 3:59 PM

    As a non-conservative, a moderate Christian, and Obama supporter, I don’t have a problem with Birk’s position. Above all political views, we are all American, though you wouldn’t know that listening to certain far right wing talk shows. We’re free to make choices and say things without government (local, state, or federal) imprisonment. Even in Europe, they don’t have complete freedom of speech as we do. I recall players boycotting Bush because of his lies to get us into a two-front war in Iraq.

    I take issue with the fact that Birk based his decision on a wrong quote. I get that he’s against abortion, but deliberate misquoting of presidents sets a very dangerous and ignorant precedent.

  192. thejimthorpejamsession says: Jun 6, 2013 4:03 PM

    People have a right to their view and speech. But let’s be blunt, the choice Birk made was to “make a statement” at the cost of the focus on his team’s achievement.

    Every president is called upon to make multiple appearances and statements that are part of the job. It is one of those circumstances where it’s impossible to make everyone happy all of the time.

    Birk decided to fixate upon one statement as the supposed reason for his no-show. But it seems to have been opportunistic, rather than unique to a grievance against Obama’s specific speech.

    What he really was doing was using his team’s White House visit as a means to bring attention to the cause in question.

    As one who was raised Catholic, I empathize with the stance. But as one who appreciates honor, I would prefer that Birk just be honest about his use of the no-show to draw attention to an issue that he feels is important.

    There’s a difference between the “use” and “abuse” of something. The way in which Birk made his case makes it come off more as abuse of the moment.

    Otherwise, if we are to take his statement at complete face value, then yes, he should be scheduling a move out of the country.

    As it stands, one cannot help but feel that his choice was at least rude to his former team and teammates. It was more important to take umbrage at the president’s statement than to take part in honoring his own team.

    It took the focus on the team’s achievement and undermined it when the focus shifted to why he was not there rather than the feat that the team had achieved together in order to reach and win the Superbowl.

    And that’s not as appreciable. I don’t recall Birk making a case against abortion when interviewed throughout his career. But all of a sudden, when his actions will draw significant attention it’s now a cause that he cannot help but rail against publicly.

    That’s opportunism in self-interests, even if couched as an interest in a greater cause, at the expense of keeping drama out of the Raven’s moment of validation. So I’m not buying it.

    To put it more simply, “Birk’s a jerk!”

  193. dls5492 says: Jun 6, 2013 4:04 PM

    Mr. Birk can now expect to be harassed by the I.R.S.

  194. godofwine330 says: Jun 6, 2013 4:07 PM

    @ CKL

    What you don’t seem to understand is the person carrying is the only one with a vote. The father doesn’t get a vote. He is 50%, or rather 33% of the pregnancy, but if she wants the baby and he doesn’t guess what – she’s having the baby. If she doesn’t want to have it and he does guess what – she’s not having the baby. So even if the baby’s 33% and the father’s 33% were in favor the woman has 34% and the deciding vote.

    The baby does not have a right to life, nor does it have a vote, and neither does the father as I explained. Like any decision, the person bearing the brunt of the responsibility is the one with the deciding vote. They could have used contraception, maybe they did and maybe it failed, maybe they didn’t use any at all. Either way, she doesn’t want a child at the time and her right to do it in a clinic or in the back alleys like the old days you and other pro-life folks should think that you are saving a life by allowing legal, safe ways of having abortions instead of being so staunchly against the precedure at all. Thousands have died due to those back alley procedures.

    Legal or not, moral or not, women who don’t want to be burdened with the responsibility of a baby will find ways to get rid of it that doesn’t have her carrying it to term. Abortion is better than back alley coat hangers, drinking unknown concoctions, or knowingly taking drugs and alcohol hoping to destroy the baby in that mannor (2 & 3 do happen, I know two women who did it b/c their parents were against abortion. 1 miscarried, the other had a premie that lived 17 days). Believe it or not, legal abortions beat the really dangerous alternatives.

  195. maddog111 says: Jun 6, 2013 4:11 PM

    This is ridiculous. Those on here supporting for not going are the same people who would be blasting someone not going if Bush were in office. And those on here bashing him for not going are the ones who would be hailing an athlete for snubbing Bush.

    It’s about a football game. Do we have to drag politics into everything. When we go to the stadiums on Sundays, half the people there have the same political beliefs we do, and the other half don’t. But we are able to get along for those three hours, high five each other when our team scores, scream our lungs out at our at our team when they allow a td, and live and die as a fanbase together.

    The sad thing is, we all seem to have each other’s backs for about 5 minutes after events such as the Boston bombings happen, but then we’re back to the “one side or the other” mind-set soon after.

  196. bubbaone says: Jun 6, 2013 4:12 PM

    President Obama was blessing PP for the totality of their work. 97% of which is used for cancer screening, health care for the poor, other health services and providing contraceptives that prevent pregnacies that can lead to the abortions Birk detests. Apparently his hormones are raging; maybe he needs a transvaginal probe to check if he’s pregnant.

    I was born, raised and schooled Catholic. This was an event to honor the teams success. Yes, there’s free speech but I don’t attend a game to confront someone’s political views. Using Birk’s logic it would be appropriate to boo him while he plays football if I disagree w/ his politics.

  197. dcfedsalesguy says: Jun 6, 2013 4:15 PM

    Funny how those of you who believe in abortion have such strong opinions. You are alive. What about the dead babies who can’t form their own?

  198. harveyg53 says: Jun 6, 2013 4:43 PM

    I certainly respect everybody’s right to have their own opinion as to the legality of abortion and to express it if they want. I don’t respect anybody else voicing an opinion as to the morality of anybody else. Religion and its dictates are personal. I am not Catholic. I respect your right to express your views based upon your religious beliefs and how they affect you. I do not respect your right to hold me to the standards of the Catholic church since I am not a Catholic. The Catholic church does not speak for me and cannot control or judge my conduct or beliefs. I am entitled to my beliefs the same as everybody else is. Those of you who are not pro choice cannot judge those of us who are.

  199. scubagolfjim says: Jun 6, 2013 5:12 PM

    What? Someone didn’t like me bringing up facts like the viability issue? Like saying that two previous posters claiming non-religious objections were only trying to perpetrate a myth? And people on here are crying about Birk’s free speech? You’re HILARIOUS!

    I have NEVER met anyone face-to-face that was anti-choice that did not ultimately admit to a religious basis for their stance. But someone who can’t stand the truth evidently “reported” my comment for some arbitrary reason? You’re HILARIOUS!

    Put it back up cowards. There was NOTHING that violated ANY rules. What? Just because I called you out on your archaic fantasy-land religious beliefs? Maybe you didn’t do it. Maybe it was your Sky-Santa, huh? You’re HILARIOUS!

  200. espnfeedback says: Jun 6, 2013 5:19 PM

    ..i too am pro life…i have also had the opportunity to meet president obama and many occasions..it was an honor each time…furthermore .i was able to openly express my differences with him face to face..man to man….admittedly i am a supporter of this president…but as a teenage i met president reagan and as a man i had the pleasure of meeting president bush II…neither of whom i agreed with nor supported…it was an honor because the office is respected…io would think that mr. birk would take from his decades of playing football at a very high level the courage to engage..win lose or draw..but we must understand birk has a demonstrated history of anti union activity within and against his own union the nflpa…he also adheres to many far right wing ideologies..which is his right…but put aside all the ideologies and political opinion and stances…my real problem with birk is his decision not to be a good teammate to the other 50 or so players whose collective sacrifice enabled him to end a brilliant career as a champion….at a ceremony where they are recognized before the country and the world as winners..as A TEAM….he refuses to be a teammate and chooses to grandstand…very small!

  201. onbucky96 says: Jun 6, 2013 5:22 PM

    Matt Birk, grade A jackass. Respect the office, not the man. I expect him to be wrapped in an American Flag on Fox and Friends/Hannity, and The Factor very soon. Again, you are a football player. I don’t care about your beliefs, whether you’re Birk, Tebow, or Kluwe.

  202. northstarnic says: Jun 6, 2013 5:26 PM

    “Good Luck to Matt Birk. Snubbing the Annoited One….”

    Just so everybody’s clear, Obama was elected. Twice. Accept reality and get on with your life.

  203. smackywomack says: Jun 6, 2013 5:30 PM

    abortion is necessary in some cases. Rape and when it endangers the mother happen to come to mind. since he’s catholic does he endorse child molestation and corruption

  204. scubagolfjim says: Jun 6, 2013 5:31 PM

    Ahh the misinformed:

    KL says: Jun 6, 2013 12:06 PM

    I am PRO abortion (I hate the BS of couching it in a softer PC term like “PRO CHOICE” so the people who feel so superior about it can refuse to think about what they are actually in favor of) for the first trimester only.

    Good for you. You shared your opinion. But for MOST it IS Pro-CHOICE because while they do not see them having one themselves, they acknowledge that it is NONE of their business to interfere with another woman’s CHOICE.

    That said, Planned parenthood uses our tax dollars to fund abortions and this I am 100% against.

    And NO. PLANNED PARENTHOOD DOES NOT USE ANY TAX DOLLARS FOR ABORTIONS!!! Maybe learn a little before you spew a little?

  205. coachbeck says: Jun 6, 2013 5:33 PM

    Good for birk. Anyone who can support abortion after watching the Gosnell trial and the Houston clinic. Needs to have a word with themselves. Baby feet in jars and twisting heads off newborn babies is what you support when you support planned parenthood. Not to mention planned parenthood was created to stifle African Americans population growth. Margaret Sanger. Look her up.

  206. raider8er says: Jun 6, 2013 5:53 PM

    If you post here and you don’t have a womb, take a step back – regardless of your opinion on abortion.

  207. thatswhatimsayin says: Jun 6, 2013 5:57 PM

    purpleguy says:
    Jun 6, 2013 3:54 PM
    Spare me — standing up for his beliefs? That’s not the point. The point is to have enough respect for your team, your teammates, the office of the presidency and the country to celebrate the SB win. The point isn’t about Matt Birk’s beliefs. His selfishness takes away from the team’s moment, and regardless of his beliefs, he should respect the office of the presidency and his team. Saying he respects the presidency, yet not appearing and trashing the president shows actions are louder than words. This isn’t about abortion, it’s about selfishness and respect.

    So what you’re saying is compromise his morals, stand in front of a man who supports something that turns his very stomach, for what?! A stupid game? A team? How cheap are you? For what price can you be bought? I admire people who stand for something. It takes zero courage to be a progressive, a liberal, soon even avowed commies will be mainstream. But try to stand for family values, life, traditional marriage and you will be destroyed. Good for Birk

  208. deacon75 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:01 PM

    Nice job Matt Birk , you are an honest and intelligent man with morals ..!!!

    Obama as Sen in Illinois voted Present all the time ,,, unless the vote was for Abortion … he was always there to make sure that even if a BABY survived a Murder , Sen Obama made certain a 2nd Doctor could come in and finish the job of Killing the Baby,,

    Cold Hard facts that people do not want to face,,,,

    I bet that reasoning was also part of the logic of Matt Birk

  209. CKL says: Jun 6, 2013 6:11 PM

    To you two who quoted me and explained that the woman has the only choice that matters, I am a woman. I think men are treated poorly when it comes to rights to their children. I wish it would change but I am guessing this is one area that women are ok with not having “equality”. The time to discuss what would happen if a pregnancy occurs is before you have sex. And if the person you want to sleep with doesn’t agree with you, then don’t have sex with them. See how easy that is? If you are not adult enough to do that, you shouldn’t be having sex. Sex isn’t something you MUST HAVE right this minute or die. Why do people act like there’s no choice involved ahead of time?

    And to the johnelway person, I have already said I am pro ABORTION. If you were talking about some other topic like gay marriege would you say you are PRO CHOICE on gay marriage or would you say you are PRO gay marriage? It’s the same thing. I would much rather people who don’t want to be parents don’t become parents. More and more parents these days are so terrible already even when they want their kids. Pro choice is a fuzzy PC term so people don’t have to face what they are in favor of. I think if you want to take a side you should take a real side.

  210. ahostiletakeover says: Jun 6, 2013 6:12 PM

    Dcfedsalesguy, pretty sure the only opinions a child under 4 years of age has is what baby foods they like or don’t like. I certainly don’t remember having any opinions at that age…you been watching reruns of Look Who’s Talking and Rugrats?

  211. earlcampbellrules says: Jun 6, 2013 6:18 PM

    N0body cared if he was there anyway. Matt Birk? Isn’t he a fat, redhead? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  212. jayniner says: Jun 6, 2013 6:32 PM

    Who can fault him for not going…..most of the people visiting the white house these days want to exercise their 2nd Amendment Rights!

  213. buzzwindrip says: Jun 6, 2013 6:46 PM

    “Birk stayed away for political reasons.”

    Well, if you’re a hammer everything does look like a nail. It has nothing to do with trite left/right political reasoning. It has everything to do with scientifically and ethically-informed moral reasoning. As it does in my case, being a pro-life leftist.

  214. mustangmach says: Jun 6, 2013 7:00 PM

    Abortion is murder performed by people who are too cowardly to take responsibility for THEIR OWN ACTIONS.

    You have ALL the freedom of choice you need to stay out of the situation WITHOUT resorting to abortion. Both men and women can say NO.

  215. edgerules says: Jun 6, 2013 7:05 PM

    I am a practicing Episcopalian, and Matt Birk is being ridiculous. He was invited to go because like someone else said, his now former team is being honored by the President of the UNITED STATES. In other words, he was going to be honored by the man (President Obama) who represents US. Who the heck cares about the differences between Birk’s and Obama’s positions on Abortion? Birk, it’s not about YOU. The event was about your TEAM meeting the President. Get over yourself.

  216. alwaysgame7 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:07 PM

    Good for him, but this is being blown way out of proportion. He was asked a question, he answered it truthfully. He disagrees with the guy on something and decided not to go. Like stated in the article, a bunch didn’t go.

    Life goes on.

  217. taintedsaints2009 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:09 PM

    Btd

    Sure. And Obama has cut the federal debt in half. Just like he said so in a speech. And he is the most transparent administration ever, like totally, right?

    Sorry, but some people like myself do not take standard talking points as etched in stone. Maybe you should learn how to think for yourself.

  218. trainman59 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:13 PM

    He earns a living as an entertainer, performing in front of ANYONE who can afford the ticket. His salary is boosted by alcohol advertising promoting a party lifestyle. He participates in this with some teammates who have virtually no moral compass at all! They take drugs, sleep with women they are not married to, fight, and perhaps even kill. He celebrates victories along with these people. He never says a word. Now, all of a sudden, he gets moral principles that prevent him from shaking someone’s hand?

  219. alwaysgame7 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:19 PM

    Also, on a side note…. Why the hell should anybody have to pay for your condom or birth control? You wanna spread em wide, you pay for it. A condom is like a buck at the corner store, yet people whine how the government should pay for it. And these same people own iPhones….. What a tragic, dependent society we have become…

  220. stunzeed5 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:27 PM

    100% pro abortion….got me out of two jams years ago! Expensive though…..

  221. cindyanda says: Jun 6, 2013 7:28 PM

    Having respect for the presidency is totally different than having respect for the president. One is deserving and the other isn’t.

  222. fearthehoody says: Jun 6, 2013 7:49 PM

    So far down, you probably wont read!!!

  223. laserw says: Jun 6, 2013 7:50 PM

    Thank you, Mr Birk, for upholding decency. The President’s pathetic support of human genocide is beyond grotesque. As most of the abortions are of black babies, it is quite odd that a President who plays the race card as often as he does can stand by the number one killer of black people – abortion.

    While I hate the Ravens for having a murderer on their team, it is refreshing that someone on that team has integrity.

  224. keepyerstickontheice says: Jun 6, 2013 7:52 PM

    There is no “I” in “TEAM”

    But there is one in “Birk”

  225. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Jun 6, 2013 8:32 PM

    And to the johnelway person, I have already said I am pro ABORTION. If you were talking about some other topic like gay marriege would you say you are PRO CHOICE on gay marriage or would you say you are PRO gay marriage? It’s the same thing. I would much rather people who don’t want to be parents don’t become parents. More and more parents these days are so terrible already even when they want their kids. Pro choice is a fuzzy PC term so people don’t have to face what they are in favor of. I think if you want to take a side you should take a real side.

    You are absolutely, 100% incorrect. I am not “pro abortion” and there is a HUGE difference between the issues of gay marriage and abortion rights. To say that someone is “pro abortion” is to imply that they are in favor of people having abortions. That abortion would be the ideal, desired outcome of a pregnancy. I am, on the other hand, pro choice. While I wish that it wasn’t the case I realize that there are situations in which abortion may be necessary or at least probably in the best interests of everyone involved. Therefore I support the right of a woman to choose what she will do with her own body. Pro choice.

  226. cags777 says: Jun 6, 2013 8:52 PM

    If I wanted to hear a conservative misquoting Obama (or any other liberal group for that matter), I would have relied on Michele Bachmann of Minnesota or Steve King of Iowa. I like Matt Birk and appreciate everything he’s done for the league. But did he really need to pull a Bachmann and treat listeners on KFAN like a bunch of fools?

  227. rap49er says: Jun 6, 2013 9:14 PM

    This is so simple. Birk was invited as a guest. He has the ability to accept or decline the invitation. Don’t go, but no need to publicize why. Once you do publicize, you are trying to capitalize on an invitation made to him in good faith . I just wish the 49ers would have scored.

  228. johnnytarr says: Jun 6, 2013 9:44 PM

    Why is meeting someone you don’t agree with on many issues & probably don’t like (to put it mildly) considered missing an opportunity of a lifetime?
    It’s not like they are going to discuss their differences & you have a chance at changing the things you don’t agree on.
    Maybe the Pope will invite him to the Vatican.

  229. mrjames21 says: Jun 6, 2013 9:54 PM

    The position in question is not Pro-Abortion, it’s Pro-Choice. As in you support a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body whether you agree or not.

    Those who oppose this should consider: 1) God gave us ALL free will, we have the choice to believe or not to believe in Him; 2) You can not account for the sins of another person at judgement time, only your own; 3) If you are truly “Pro-Life”, then prove it. There are millions of kids waiting for foster families to choose to raise them and/or to be adopted by them. Pick one, or two, or three, however many YOU can support/raise/nurture.

    Once you do that then maybe you can speak on forcing someone to raise an unwanted child. No child should be raised in that type of environment.

  230. pjcostello says: Jun 6, 2013 10:23 PM

    rsenist1 says:
    Jun 6, 2013 11:45 AM
    Berk starts by stating that he has respect for the presidency. Obviously, you don’t.
    ———————————
    Birk respects the office of the presidency, just not its current occupant. Can’t fault him for that; I heard myriad people say similar things during 8 years of the previous administration. So that sort of talk must be OK, then, right? Since both sides say it?

  231. icecubeusedtobeangry says: Jun 6, 2013 10:32 PM

    You solute the rank, not the man.

  232. trojan33sc says: Jun 6, 2013 10:36 PM

    Maybe the White House should conduct “background checks” on all the players invited. In that case NOBODY would be allowed to attend the event !!!!!!

  233. johnnytarr says: Jun 6, 2013 10:57 PM

    coachkew says:
    Jun 6, 2013 1:19 PM
    …… But here is one thing I never could understand: How do you not believe in abortion or a women’s right to chose? But you believe in the death penalty. Murder is murder…is it not? And those executed by way of the death penalty are fully developed humans, there no debating that…with the exception of the mentally retarded individuals that that we execute!

    ===================================

    One is an innocent unborn child who had the misfortune of being conceived by one or two people who would be inconvenienced by this child’s birth ( & don’t kid yourself as to how many abortions are terminating pregnancies of raped women. The % isn’t that high) & one has been convicted of an act so vile that it warranted the death penalty

  234. txnative61 says: Jun 7, 2013 1:09 AM

    There have been Republican’s in power in the Presidency, Congress, and the Supreme Court since abortion was legalized. I think Matt Birk is misguided in raising the issue with a Democratic President, because their views were well known when elected. Rather focus on Republicans who SAY they are against abortion, but do nothing. Of course technology such as the “abortion drug” would quickly become so readily available the law would be moot and unenforceable, and every right-wing pundit knows it! Not to mention that the majority of Americans support the right to choose, considering it a personal matter of conscience. So the outspoken politicians rail against something but don’t actually CHANGE it because they would lose votes. Huh! Imagine that!

  235. draconianbruin says: Jun 7, 2013 1:27 AM

    @ johnelwayishorsefaced – Choice happens BEFORE conception – everyone has a legal choice before going into bed or wherever. The issue that you seemingly wish to obfuscate is that you are indeed pro-infanticide/abortion, because you believe that murdering a life is an option after someone already made a choice.

  236. kpizzow says: Jun 7, 2013 6:39 AM

    Couple of things:
    No one is pro-abortion – you can be pro-choice but no one is for women getting an abortion. So the option is to prevent an unwanted pregnancy before it happens – hence Planned Parenthood – there to help
    women not get pregnant. Not everyone has the advantages some of us do – 2 parents etc…preventing unwanted children helps break the cycle of single parent households – which helps EVERYONE.
    Right on about the Catholic Church being against birth control and abortion. Its just another silly rule they made up 1000 years ago to help grow their following. Over 90% of Catholics use birth control. Matt has 6 kids – but he also went to Harvard and was highly compensated. Good on him – but not everyone can afford that.
    Don’t we want poor(er) people to be able to limit their families so they can thrive – and no abstinence is not a choice..

  237. oldway9 says: Jun 7, 2013 8:07 AM

    Surprisingly, Harvard graduate, Matt Birk, showed a lack of class and respect by not visiting the President with his Super-Bowl winning team.
    The Ravens are my team, and my opinion has now changed of this retired center.

  238. jaxcliff says: Jun 7, 2013 9:08 AM

    “can anyone explain to me how a religion can oppose BOTH birth control AND abortion”

    “Be fruitful and multiply”, “Do not murder”

    Not Catholic, but “make babies and don’t kill them” doesn’t seem so contradictory to me.

  239. stevent92 says: Jun 7, 2013 10:35 AM

    johngaltwho says:
    Jun 6, 2013 12:34 PM

    Can you imagine if the White House disinvited every football player from a super bowl team if the player did or said something the White House found morally objectionable? Would make for a great photo – The President greeting three offensive starters, two backups and one assistant coach.
    ———————————————————————-
    Actually, I CAN imagine that, with all the wiretapping and IRS harrassment going on. Probably closer to true than we realize.

    At least you can admit there would only be 6 guys out of 70 that would agree with the President on what he truly believes in.

  240. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 7, 2013 11:48 AM

    kpizzow says:Jun 7, 2013 6:39 AM
    No one is pro-abortion – you can be pro-choice but no one is for women getting an abortion. So the option is to prevent an unwanted pregnancy before it happens – hence Planned Parenthood – there to help women not get pregnant.
    _____

    Planned Parenthood is pro-abortion because they make a ton of money performing abortions. That is their main business. They actively counsel pregnant women to get abortions.

  241. bigbluefan11 says: Jun 7, 2013 11:50 AM

    tannerthoughts says: Jun 6, 2013 12:29 PM

    “Religion, politics, and football should never mix. NEVER. This is my issue with Tim Tebow. Had the same issue with Ray Lewis. Every time a camera turns on, thumped their bible. Keep it in church. It’s your right. I don’t need or want to see it. I hope Matt Birk is not the next NFL bible thumper. If so, it’s time to retire and go into politics.

    As Christians, we are called to go out and make disciples. That is exactly what Tebow and others try to do through the media. It may not be the most effective way to do it, but they are trying to live out their faith no matter what profession they are in.”
    =============================================================
    Trying to make me a disciple when I’m just trying to watch a football game is exactly the problem. Keep your beliefs out of my face. It’s backfired on Tebow – he can’t get a look from another team. And I hope this blows up in Birk’s face too. Maybe other athletes will learn that they are followed for their athletic ability and no one cares about their beliefs. Believe what you want. And keep it to yourself. If you want people to convert, have an open house and invite interested people to come listen.

  242. revskip says: Jun 7, 2013 12:11 PM

    maddog111 says: Jun 6, 2013 4:11 PM

    This is ridiculous. Those on here supporting for not going are the same people who would be blasting someone not going if Bush were in office. And those on here bashing him for not going are the ones who would be hailing an athlete for snubbing Bush.

    ————————————————————-

    The irony is delicious isn’t it.

  243. section441 says: Jun 7, 2013 1:50 PM

    Thank you Matt. For the uninformed, just know that since Roe vs. Wade, our once great nation has approved this horrific procedure to terminate over 55,000,000 lives. As for the rape, incest, and health of the mothers….that is only 3%. Face the facts, this is post conception birth control.

  244. 8to80texansblog says: Jun 7, 2013 4:42 PM

    Rick Spielman is a Magician says:
    Jun 7, 2013 11:48 AM

    Planned Parenthood is pro-abortion because they make a ton of money performing abortions. That is their main business. They actively counsel pregnant women to get abortions.

    ==========================

    No offense, but have you ever been in that room? I haven’t, but I know several that have.

    Unless you’ve been in there, and had to make that decision, don’t talk about a situation you can’t comprehend.

  245. macjacmccoy says: Jun 7, 2013 6:35 PM

    Im against abortion bc I believe its wrong to take another persons life just bc you were irresponsible and bc of religious reasons. But Im against it for another reason, fairness. Why should a woman have a right to get rid of a kid and have no responsibility for it for no other reason then they simply dont want it when a man cant do the same thing? Why when a woman has a kid that a man doesnt want is that man still forced to pay child support? Shouldnt he have the right to be selfish when 1000’s of women a year who have abortions are afforded that same right? If a woman can kill a kid so her body doesnt have to physically carry it for 9 months until the day its born and she can get rid, then a man shouldnt have to put his body on the line and physically swing a hammer, carry 100 pound bags of cement, unload trucks, etc. so he can afford child support payments for 18 years so he doesnt have to go to jail.

    So beyond the reprehensible immoral reason to be against abortion. There is also the quintessential American reason to be against abortions and that’s the idea of fair play and that all men are created equal. You wouldn’t know that’s something America prides itself on though if you looked at how fathers are treated in this country when it comes to abortion and parental rights laws. And because of that for me, there should be a moratorium put on abortions until the scales are balanced and fathers are granted the same liberties and rights to their bodies as mothers(if you can call them that) currently enjoy.

  246. macjacmccoy says: Jun 7, 2013 8:17 PM

    txnative61 says:

    “Not to mention that the majority of Americans support the right to choose, considering it a personal matter of conscience. ”

    Actually that’s not the case anymore. Ten years ago the majority of Americans were in support of the current pro choice laws. But if you look at the majority of polls done in the last year ( there are always outliers that dont match the consensus like for example the 2012 election polls that Fox was using to predict a Romney win) you will see that the balance has shifted from support of pro choice laws to now support of pro-life legislation. Pro choicers have lost nearly 15 points in polls over the last decade. Where it use to be around 55% pro choice to 40% pro-life it is now around 47% pro-life to 44% pro choice.

    The change in the American view of abortion has been drastic. Which isnt surprising however. With the advances in technology such as the internet, smart phones, and video cameras the dirty secrets of abortions, abortion clinics, and the people who perform them (such as Gosnell) are now coming to light. Now that the people can see the actual reality of the current abortion laws they can truly make an informed personal decision of conscience in support or opposition of pro choice laws.

    Mass America now has access to the truth and they dont like what they see. And like I said before its no surprise Americans are now in opposition of such laws.

  247. xzoso says: Jun 7, 2013 8:41 PM

    I’ll keep this short. Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, Planned Parenthood should never be a target. They do a lot of things to actually prevent unwanted pregnancies. Being personally touched by this issue myself, I believe everyone should MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS. Stop PUSHING your beliefs on everyone else. It will never be illegal, but at the same time it will never be accepted by everybody. Keep it to yourself.

    P.S. – We are grossly overpopulated. Stop having so many children. Wear a jimmy.

  248. swagger52 says: Jun 7, 2013 10:53 PM

    Obama is going to be following up on that with the IRS.

    Expect his tax returns to be audited next year.

  249. swagger52 says: Jun 7, 2013 10:55 PM

    I have often wondered why the NFL gets away with paying for abortions. All of October we have to watch those stupid pink clothes. I see blood red. That money for breast cancer goes to abortions at Planned Parenthood.

  250. swagger52 says: Jun 7, 2013 10:57 PM

    Even if Obama was against Planned Parenthood, I wouldn’t visit him. Maybe Matt was just looking for an excuse not to go.

  251. silverandblackfan77 says: Jun 8, 2013 12:42 AM

    I personally am not sure about this issue but it should be a choice for example one lady in Ireland(a very pro-life country)died because she couldn’t get an abortion for a pregnancy that was already a going to be a miscarriage but since it was illegal no matter the case she died so if you draw the line there it makes it too restrictive but I dont think late term should be allowed and my final point is why talk about politics on a football website we have enough to argue about with rivalries and junk leave it on the news sites

  252. mattyt83 says: Jun 8, 2013 10:25 AM

    Florio: Says that if Birk’s logic is taken to extremes, Birk could end up renouncing his American citizenship.

    How too many people read it: Birk’s logic means that he hates America and should leave.

    Way to read for context, people.

    I respect Birk’s perspective, despite not agreeing with it. I’m surprised it wasn’t still over Obama’s support of gay marriage. Now that he’s retired, he can perhaps fight for his beliefs in the political field.

  253. swagger52 says: Jun 8, 2013 12:01 PM

    xoxo..

    I’ll keep this short. Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, Planned Parenthood should never be a target. They do a lot of things to actually prevent unwanted pregnancies. Being personally touched by this issue myself, I believe everyone should MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS. Stop PUSHING your beliefs on everyone else. It will never be illegal, but at the same time it will never be accepted by everybody. Keep it to yourself.

    P.S. – We are grossly overpopulated. Stop having so many children. Wear a jimmy.

    ________________________________

    thanks for keeping it short because that exactly illustrates the issue.

    The one side can perfectly illustrate half of the problem, but completely conveniently ignore the dead baby side of it.

    The rationalization comes down to…the world is overcrowded. So let me play God and condone this as an appropriate behavior because I don’t think we can afford it.

    That is the problem…you playing God.

  254. daviddlpe says: Jun 8, 2013 2:55 PM

    “Actually, President Obama didn’t say, “God bless Planned Parenthood.” He ended a speech to the group with the perfunctory, “Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you. God bless America. Some will see that as a distinction without a difference…”

    Gee – ya think so? That is because it is a distinction without a difference. By words and actions, Obama has made his firm alliance with Planned Parenthood, and abortion, quite well known. Also, we are not just talking about the abortions you conveniently reference as “medical procedures.” We are talking about Gosnell-type abortions, where labor is induced early so the baby cannot survive after being born. To induce a birth with the intention of death equals infanticide – there is no way around it.

    “And while, like Birk, I am Catholic and, like Birk, I don’t believe in abortion, Birk’s stance puts him on a slippery slope of logic that, taken to its extreme, could result in Birk renouncing his American citizenship. Whether we like it or not (and Birk and I and many others personally don’t), abortion remains a legal procedure under certain circumstances in this country, falling within perceived (but not specifically articulated) Constitutional privacy rights.”

    The “certain circumstances” you mention comprise a very minute portion of the abortions performed, especially by Planned Parenthood. Out of the outgrowth of your obvious devout Catholic faith, have you bothered to research the percentage of abortions performed to save the life of the mother?

    Source: tennesseerighttolife dot org /AbortionNumbers

    “The overwhelming majority of all abortions, 93%, are done as a means of birth control. Only 1% are performed because of rape or incest; 3% because of fetal abnormalities; 3% due to the mother’s health problems.”

    In his brave statement and stance against Obama, Planned Parenthood and abortion in general, it is not Matt Birk who is on the slippery slope, sir. As a Christian, you obviously have far greater things to concern yourself with than Matt Birk’s citizenship.

  255. topcide says: Jun 8, 2013 6:38 PM

    Does planned parenthood provide abortions at some locations, sure they do. But they also allowed my wife to get her yearly gynological exam for $45 when she was in college with no medical insurance, when 95% of other docters offices wanted to charge her more than she made in a week at her night job after classes.

    basically focusing on planned parenthood providing abortions is akin to saying that all a quarterback does is hand the ball to a running back every play.

  256. singletitle says: Jun 9, 2013 2:51 PM

    It’s unfortunate that Matt Birk has nothing else to do with his time than run his mouth/polish up his GOP bonafides.

    I have a few questions for him:

    1. Mr. Birk, when was the last time you had a period or sustained a pregnancy? Why do you believe you should have control over my reproductive rights, let alone any other woman’s, when you have no experience with the matter at all?

    2. Mr. Birk, there are approximately 250,000 children languishing in America’s foster care system. How many of those children have you adopted? If not, why not?

    Perhaps someone might want to alert Mr. Birk that 48% of women between 19-48 identify as NFL fans. We also vote.

  257. bigbeefyd says: Jun 9, 2013 4:15 PM

    I’m just amazed that Barry was able to break free from the golf course long enough to meet with the team.

    Oh and Mr. Birk will likely be audited by the IRS this year.

  258. ronfrommd says: Jun 9, 2013 6:13 PM

    Just to remind that that 150 years ago, slavery was also the law of the land but people with moral conscience strove, successfully, to overturn it. I, personally, don’t see a difference between slavery and abortion.

  259. swagger52 says: Jun 9, 2013 8:31 PM

    Dear Singletitle…

    If Mr. Birk or any man has no control over reproductive rights of women, then when do reproductive females have any rights over men who would rather not have a child.

    Oh I get it..You want your cake and eat it too.

  260. cbo68 says: Jun 10, 2013 11:51 AM

    In my own opinion, I have a lot more respect for Mr. Birk than that other fella as his beliefs are more in line with what I was raised to be and think. As for the other fella, I respect the office, much like I expect Mr. Birk does, but the fella sitting there hasn’t done much to deserve my respect. That fella was one of the more compelling reasons for me to retire after 23 years of military service. It gets harder and harder to follow orders of fools and the last 20+ years has seen nothing but fools in charge. The only difference between them is the depth of their foolishness and the pool is pretty shallow.

  261. redbengalnation says: Jun 10, 2013 8:48 PM

    I respect birk for being himself. I am not Catholic but in retrospect I wouldn necessarily be opposed to abortions. My dad was a dead beat and along with the other millions of kids who suffer the same thing can be spared.. Its not the politically correct thing to say but that just how I feel. Kids have kids who cant always provide for a child. Hell, adults have kids they cant take care of. 15% of U.S. population is on food stamps… No disrespect intended here I’m just voicing my opinion which is what birk did.

  262. shihtzusays says: Jun 10, 2013 10:36 PM

    What do the Dixie Chicks have in common with Matt Birk?

  263. johnnytarr says: Jun 10, 2013 10:41 PM

    So you’d rather be dead?

  264. shihtzusays says: Jun 10, 2013 11:08 PM

    Are there any liberal professional athletes? Yes however they don’t embarrass themselves. What does Matt Birk have in common with the Dixie Chicks?

  265. 8to80texansblog says: Jun 11, 2013 9:54 AM

    I applaud Birk for standing by his beliefs. I completely disagree with almost every belief he’s been public with. But that’s what makes this country so great.

  266. swagger52 says: Jun 11, 2013 10:12 AM

    I respect birk for being himself. I am not Catholic but in retrospect I wouldn necessarily be opposed to abortions. My dad was a dead beat and along with the other millions of kids who suffer the same thing can be spared.. Its not the politically correct thing to say but that just how I feel. Kids have kids who cant always provide for a child. Hell, adults have kids they cant take care of. 15% of U.S. population is on food stamps… No disrespect intended here I’m just voicing my opinion which is what birk did.

    __________________________________

    Yet again…another argument of I know what is best for everybody, let me play God. I wish we could all just agree that something else is in charge relative to how all is created: earth, stars, people. Therefore let them decide what stays created, versus killing creation. We all one measly little cog that has no idea what we are doing in the regard of creation, so why are we making death decisions based on just our knowledge?

  267. 8to80texansblog says: Jun 11, 2013 3:18 PM

    @swagger52

    Yet again…another argument of I know what is best for everybody, let me play God
    ———————————

    Do you realize how insanely hypocritical that argument is. You’re upset that that someone else should decide for all of us based on their beliefs…

    Yet that’s exactly what you want to do, which is decide for everyone based on YOUR beliefs….

    We don’t all believe in God the way you do. The Bible was written hundreds of years after Christ’s death. It is a book written by man, written with their own biases based on the prevailing culture at the time. The bible also says its ok to kill your wife if she is not a virgin….

  268. bigalhebdman says: Jun 11, 2013 6:22 PM

    Totally disagree with Mr. Birk. Congratulations from the President of the United States should not be made into a political statement.
    There were many Super Bowl winners who disagreed with former President Bush’s policies, but they still had enough respect to consider it an honor to be invited to the White House and receive Congratulations.
    Remember, Mr. Birk: President Obama was elected (and re-elected) by a majority of the populace as are all Presidents. Once that occurs, even if you disagree, the Country has only ONE President. True Americans should realize and put aside their differences out of respect and patriotism.

  269. oldway9 says: Jun 12, 2013 9:34 PM

    This guy went to Harvard? Really? It seemed like he went to some ‘state’ college. First of all, he misquoted the President of The United States and based his behavior off a misconception.
    The Ravens are my favorite team, but this retired center showed a lack of respect and class for the man who runs the country, the President of The United States.
    My opinion of this player totally changed after his childish boycott, and really, Harvard did not foster a more altogether intelligent person?
    My number one, ace, and most brilliant professor in college graduated from Harvard, and never showed any ignorance like this retired center. But of course, he graduated from Harvard in the 1960’s. My professor ‘pulled’ me out of the projects.

  270. section441 says: Jun 13, 2013 8:45 AM

    Oldway9,
    So, because Birk doesnt adhere to your values, he couldnt possibly be intelligent enough to have gone to Harvard. If a state college is so useless, why do we have them? Hell, the old owner of Dolphins, Wayne Huizenga didnt even finish college and he has over $2 billion. What a dunce, right? Amazingly, when a liberal gets worked up, they have to call people names or attack a persons intelligence. See George Bush, Sarah Palin, etc. At any rate, why cant a person boycott anything they want? All of us are afforded freedoms from the Bill of Rights that allow these. At least he holds true to his convictions. And, where is it required to be subjected to the president? Considering Birk majored in economics, maybe he has around $16 trillion reasons to not like the president for that too.

  271. mrbaltimore2013 says: Jun 13, 2013 9:34 AM

    SO, here we are……the guy wants to make a public statement about how he disagrees with the President’s stand on a woman’s right to choose so he runs his mouth and says, “I can’t be a party to this.”

    That same sense of righteousness doesn’t seem to stop him from walking into church every Sunday knowing that the Catholic Church shielded hundreds of pedophiles from the law and continued to facilitate their abuse of children. Where is his public stand on that issue? Does his silence imply consent? If Bush were President would he refuse to attend because of the children killed by the illegitimate war in Iraq (in which I served)? Doubtful, because that doesn’t win votes and no one cares anymore.

    He’s a pig. He’s a hypocrite. And he’s probably jockeying to run for Michelle Bachmann’s now-open seat in Congress.

  272. mountaingirl39 says: Jun 13, 2013 12:04 PM

    I just love these comments. All the name calling because YOU don’t like what he has to say. Well guess what, it’s his opinion that matters to him just like your opinion only really matters to you.
    We all need to learn to respect others opinion even if we disagree. When he & Brendan Ayanbadejo had different opinions about gay marriage, he didn’t attack the opinion, he just didn’t agree with it.

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