Brendon Ayanbadejo Cut From Ravens. Was Gay-Rights Support To Blame?

Brendon Ayanbadejo (Ravens)

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has been cut from the team and he says his vocal support for marriage equality and gay rights played a factor.

“My bark is louder than my bite,” he told Newsday. “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?”

The Super Bowl champ said that the Ravens can find players to do what he does for less money and admitted that his productivity has gone down in recent years.

“But, I don’t necessarily think that teams want this type of attention,” he added. “I was a vocal guy and garnered a lot of attention. I brought a lot of issues with me to the Super Bowl and the issues came up at the Super Bowl.”

The Ravens, however, were “surprised” by Ayanbadejo’s comments and insisted that he was released for “football reasons, period.”

“We have always respected Brendan’s opinions and his right to express them,” said Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne.

Ayanbadejo later confirmed Byrne’s statements in an interview with the Baltimore Sun Thursday night. “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,” Ayanabadejo said. ” They helped me.”

Although he’s ambivalent towards his future in the NFL, he plans to continue making noise with his advocacy.

“I’m really waiting for the NFL to [take a stance against discrimination], ” he said. “Instead of the NFL having to be reactive to those things I want them to be proactive because I care about the NFL and I care about the players in the NFL.”

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  • balehead

    He’s just another fame whore!! People forget He said 3 percent of the guys he plays with might be gay, Very nasty and divisive to the team’s moral!!!…. 1/2 of his team refused to work with him after that….

  • balehead

    Just another fame whore….

  • balehead

    he should just come out already!

  • balehead


  • Dionte

    That was the only football team I ever liked.

  • tazz602

    Boy – some of you are mean – at 36, First, he is past his prime for the NFL so it is not surprising – and second he did keep talking when his employer did tell him to concentrate on the game. As he said, he wasn’t producing, so it’s not a surprise. But to have a very vocal str8 advocate in a very masculine sport, I would not call that a fame whore. Why do we bash our str8 allies all the f*ing time?? His talk was a reaction to our getting bashed by another player, so I thank and appreciate all he and other str8 athletes have done to make acceptance visible and make it ok for others to vocalize. It starts with a few brave people, and he is one.

  • MikeE

    @tazz602: “we” don’t. forum user “balehead” did. multiple times.

  • miagoodguy

    What a freaking crybaby.


    I want you to die. Doesn’t have to be a long drawn-out painful death. Please, just simply terminate; get murdered, suicide, something; anything, so we no longer have to breath the same air that’s been through your poisonous reptilian self.

    And If you can’t do this, can you at least stay the fuck off this site, you stupid right wing c_nt.

  • tazz602

    @MikeE: You are right – it was still early here, I didn’t see that – if I could edit I would address it to him directly.

  • iBLOW

    I don’t really watch football but was he any good, because if he’s older AND no good then of course he would get cut.

  • Darling Nikki

    Football is a young man’s game, and 36 in this sport, especially on defense is pretty old. [Though he’s pretty young to me (lol !]
    The salary cap is another issue and it’s a hardcap in the NFL, so they can pay someone 10 years younger for much less. He could latch on for a veteran minimum if he so chooses to continue his career with some other team.
    As an advocate, he is fierce and despite being an avid Giants fan, was very happy he got his ring with the Ravens this year.

  • hephaestion

    Why does Queerty always try to mislead us with their headlines??

    Brendan Ayanbadejo will always be a hero to me. It is a good time for him to move on to another career beyond football, and as intelligent as he is I am sure he will find a good career for his post-football life. I hope he can play a role in getting the NFL to take a stand against anti-gay discrimination, which would make it safer for gay players to come out while still playing.

  • hyhybt

    Assuming he has anything in mind for his post-NFL life, this wouldn’t be a bad time to call it quits. Debilitating injuries are far from rare in football, and if it’s true that he’s not doing as well as before, why sign on to another team and continue a decline? Leaving on a high note, and with limbs and brain still functional, is a good way to exit.

  • alterego1980

    @hyhybt: Because (it seems anyway) that he wants to make a difference in the NFL when it comes to discrimination of gays and being an active player in the NFL is probably a good way to help that cause. Also, If he plays, he has more of an audience to discuss marriage equality. I for one hope he continues to play for those reasons. And let’s face it; He’s a special teams player. It’s not like he is a star QB. He should get it in for as long as he can.


    Although he is probably past the prime of his athletic career, it was good to see such an outspoken activist in such a prominent position. Whether he plays on another team and continues the fight, or if he moves on to something else and continues his advocacy there…I will be happy for him either way.

  • hyhybt

    @alterego1980: There is that…

  • Geoff B

    I love the guy and appreciate all he’s done for us even though I’m not a huge Ravens fan. Maybe my Packers will sign him.

  • balehead

    He’ll play again…no worries

  • balehead

    It would be awesome for him to be the one..just saying..

  • balehead

    he’s got the intelligence for it..

  • balehead

    The same “moral rightest” have no problem going after the morning goods guys…..interesting..

  • RLS

    36 years old, past his prime, underperforming on the field and over the last two years has made a calculated career move into gay “activism” that will keep him paid via speaking fees, honored and paid to show up at gay events, and on the news channels for years to come.

    I’m not a hater and he is doing some good, but lets look at this for what it really is. The sad thing is that we as a gay community put these straight guys on a pedestal and don’t give nearly enough attention to the ACTUAL LGBT PEOPLE that are doing the same thing.

  • Cam

    @balehead: said….

    “He’s just another fame whore!! People forget He said 3 percent of the guys he plays with might be gay, Very nasty and divisive to the team’s moral!!!…. 1/2 of his team refused to work with him after that….

    Why is it the worst thing all the bigots can think of to say about gay rights advocates is that they are seeking attention?

    1. Saying that 3% of the guys he plays with are gay is only nasty and divisive if they are bigots. And if they are they can fuck themselves.

    2. You said half the team refused to play with him. You are a liar.

  • balehead

    RLS may have hit it on the head…..

  • balehead

    It’s more of a “career move” than a cause…..

  • Shannon1981

    I really hope he wasn’t cut because of his gay rights stances. However, the NFL and all pro sports are testosterone driven cultures and notoriously homophobic. See Chris Culliver’s media day comments for exhibit A. It would not surprise me if Brendon’s outspoken stance had something to do with this.

  • Icebloo

    He is a great guy. He is intelligent and caring. I am going to miss him as a player but I hope he continues to remain in the public eye speaking out for us.

    We NEED more straight allies ! STOP attacking people who are helping us you bitchy, uneducated queens !

    We only made progress on racial issues because white allies joined the fight. We will only make progress on gay issues when MORE straight allies join the fight. Brendon is a brave man for speaking out for us. He has put himself in the firing line for us many times. Have some respect !

  • balehead

    And now he’s backtracking on some of his comments……

Comments are closed.