At the tender age of 37 I would expect you to understand the business side of the league and maintain some amount of professionalism when things may or may not go your way. However Brendon Ayanbadejo had a different interpretation of what leaving like a champion means.
After being cut by the Super Bowl Champions Baltimore Ravens, Ayanbadejo did an interview where he alluded to the fact the Ravens had cut him do to his political views and stance for same-sex equality.
Since the interview, Ayanbadejo has changed his tuned. During an interview with the Baltimore Sun Ayanbadejo emphasized that he doesn’t believe he was cut from the roster because of his strong advocacy for same-sex marriage and gay rights, but instead believes his age played a part in his demise in Baltimore.
“The Ravens have been backing me, they knew my stance for years and have been facilitating me and organizing me with LGBT and set me up with Equality Maryland. They helped me,” said Ayanbadejo. If they didn’t like what I was doing, they would have cut me a long time ago. I’m a special-teams player and you can find somebody to do what I did for less than half that value. They can find someone to do the same job. I was the most productive player on special teams and the only linebacker who played in every single game. I’m not saying I didn’t bring any value. What I was saying about my bark is louder than my bite is I was talking more that I was productive and it makes you expendable.”
“No team wants any situation to be bigger than football. I think equality rights is inherently bigger than football, but in no way was I a distraction for my team. It was a balancing act. I was there to play football. I was also there to promote positive issues, things bigger than football. The NFL doesn’t really want that. I was saying the NFL as a whole organization, not just the Ravens. The NFL isn’t talking about politics, immigration policies, war and AIDS. The NFL doesn’t touch those things. The NFL keeps it safe, talking about charities for kids and those less fortunate, cancer, stuff like that. I was touching on issues bigger than football. I think the Ravens think I’m mad at them, but I’m absolutely not. I love the Ravens. When I say my bark was louder than my bite, I’m saying I’m not the player I once was and the Ravens did the right thing. They were justified. I have no problem with them at all.”
Before any of this transpired yesterday, Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome seemed optimistic there was a chance Ayanbadejo may return.
“He became a leader for us, and the door may not be closed to bring him back to help us again,” Newsome said in a team-issued statement.
If you are going to say something say it with your chest and mean what you say. I’m under the mind frame after being in the league since 1999 you know how to do a proper interview. You can text, email, record the conversation yourself so there is no room for you to be misquoted. No one wants to hear his new and improve comments. Opinions are formed and the damage is done.