Like most other Americans, Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo believes things.
Unlike many other Americans, Ayanbadejo has an elected official demanding he be punished for believing things. The specific belief in this case is that people of the same sex should be allowed to get married. Ayanbadejo has been outspoken about this belief, which doesn’t sit well with Maryland house of delegates-member Emmett C. Burns Jr.
Burns, a Democrat from Baltimore County, wrote a letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, obtained by WBAL-TV in Baltimore, to the Ravens last week demanding that the team act to muzzle Ayanbadejo and direct him to “concentrate on football and steer clear of dividing the fan base.”
“I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Raven Football player. Many of my constituents and your football supporters are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens Football Team would step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or the other. … I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football League Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employees and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing.”
Frankly, it’s inconceivable that Burns would make the request in the first place. Regardless of what side of this particular issue you might find yourself, Ayanbadejo’s right to believe what he wants about it and tell people what he believes falls well outside anything that concerns the Ravens. The Ravens had no comment beyond acknowledging they got the letter to the Washington Post and there’s zero chance they’ll follow through on Burns’ request.
Ayanbadejo has been actively sharing his thoughts on the Democratic National Convention on Twitter and sent out this tweet earlier this week, which seems apt even though it doesn’t appear to be directly related to this letter.
Football is just my job it's not who I am. I am an American before anything. And just like every American I have the right to speak!!!—
Brendon Ayanbadejo (@brendon310) September 05, 2012
That pretty much sums it up.