Earlier this week, the Baltimore Ravens and special teams line backer Brendon Ayanbadejo parted ways as the team cut him from their roster. Ayanbadejo has made headlines this off-season by being a pro gay rights activist. According to Ayanbadejo, his pro gay rights stance is the reason he was cut from the Baltimore Ravens.
“I was a vocal guy and garnered a lot of attention,” Ayanbadejo said. “I brought a lot of issues with me to the Super Bowl and the issues came up at the Super Bowl. …My bark is louder than my bite. I make a lot of noise and garner a lot of attention for various things off the football field. When that starts happening, why do you have that player around?”
While Ayanbadejo believes his play has declined a bit over the last few seasons, he also believes other factors led to his release.
“ don’t necessarily think that teams want this type of attention,” he said.I
The Baltimore Ravens have come out and said that Ayanbadejo’s release was nothing more than a football move.
“We’re surprised that he would indicate this. We have always been respectful of Brendon’s opinions and his right to express those,” Ravens’ senior vice president for public and community relations Kevin Byrne said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “Our decision regarding his departure from the team has everything to do with football. Nothing else.”
How NFL teams and locker rooms might handle a openly gay player has been a hot button topic this off-season after a report came forward that a gay player was “close” to coming out.
While, Ayanbadejo has his reasons for why he believes he was cut, he was scheduled to make $940,000 in base salary for next season with the Ravens. By releasing him, the Ravens will save over $800,000 in cap space for next season.