On Thursday, the Ravens officially released linebacker and special-teams standout Brendon Ayanbadejo. Conventional wisdom was that the move had to do with Ayanbadejo's age (36), his 2013 salary ($940,000), and that he was relegated to mostly special-teams duty.
But a day after tweeting this...
I would like to thank the city of Baltimore and the Ravens organization for an amazing ride. We will forever be united as champions!— Brendon Ayanbadejo (@brendon310) April 3, 2013
…Ayanbadejo told Newsday's Tom Rock that he believes that his involvement in gay-rights causes was one of the reasons he was cut.
"My bark is louder than my bite," Ayanbadejo said Thursday evening at the Straight for Equality Gala in Manhattan, where he and Vikings punter Chris Kluwe were honored. "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?
"I don't necessarily think that teams want this type of attention," he continued before acknowledging that there were other reasons Baltimore decided to let him go.
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Rock writes that although the Ravens were generally supportive of Ayanbadejo, the tipping point may have come during Super Bowl week.
As for his NFL future, the 10-year vet plans to stay in shape but seems content to have played his last game.
“One thing I want to do is I want to facilitate change and be a catalyst for change,” Ayanbadejo said. “I want the NFL to make a stance. Other Fortune 500 companies, Apple, Google, they've taken a stance against discrimination.
"You look at the International Soccer Federation and they've taken a stance against discrimination. I'm really waiting for the NFL to … 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.”