For the past few years Ben Watson has been one of the most outspoken players in the NFL. The Ravens tight end has never been afraid to share his opinion on anything, controversial or not.
After civil unrest broke out in Ferguson, Missouri, following the police shooting death of Michael Brown, Watson wrote a long essay on Facebook that was shared over 470,000 times.
Saints tight end Ben Watson with a brilliant essay on Ferguson: https://t.co/A1Cr68cJCu— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) November 27, 2014
Watson also wrote a lengthy essay after civil unrest hit Baltimore following the police killing of Freddie Gray.
"We have major problems as a nation. Yesterday Ferguson burned. Tonight Baltimore. burns. Tomorrow it will be another city in our homeland," Watson wrote in April 2015.
Watson has spent most of his recent adult life studying the racial divide in America, and he even wrote a book about it, Under Our Skin, that was released in November 2015.
Although Watson's takes on Ferguson and Baltimore were both mostly lauded, the Ravens tight end has received some criticism for his most recent take. During an interview with the Turning Point Pregnancy Resource Center, Watson ripped Planned Parenthood.
The subject came up when Watson was asked if he had any unique insight about how race factors into the issue of abortion.
"I wouldn't say I have any unique insight," Watson said. "I do know that blacks kind of represent a large portion of the abortions, and I do know that honestly the whole idea with Planned Parenthood and [Margaret] Sanger in the past was to exterminate blacks, and it's kind of ironic that it's working."
Sanger's beliefs have been studied before, so it may not be a shock to anyone who's followed the history of legalized abortion. However, some might be surprised to hear Watson come out and say that eliminating blacks is "working."
Watson also added that he believes Planned Parenthood is pushing minorities to get abortions.
"We [as minorities] support candidates, and overwhelmingly support the idea of having Planned Parenthood and the like, and yet, that is why she created it," Watson said. "We are buying it hook, line, and sinker, like it's a great thing. It's just amazing to me and abortion saddens me period, but it seems to be something that is really pushed on minorities and provided to minorities especially as something that they should do."
Watson says there's a double standard for young minority females who get pregnant and young white girls.
"In the public, it seems to be painted that when minorities get pregnant they need to get abortions, especially when it comes to teen pregnancy," Watson said. "It's like when black girls are pregnant, it's like a statistic, but when white girls get pregnant, they get a TV show."
MTV has been running a series since 2009 called 16 and Pregnant.
In a separate Facebook post, Watson did partially blame men for what he says is an abortion problem.
"(A) lot of the women wouldn't be having abortions if the men would step up and be a part of what they are already biologically a part of," Watson wrote on Facebook on Friday.
The 35-year-old Watson, who's going into his 13th NFL season, says that teammates now come up to him for fatherly advice.
"[A teammate's] girlfriend was pregnant and he had that look like, 'I don't know what to do' and I know that abortion may have very well been a possibility, although we didn't discuss it specifically," Watson said. "My whole speech to him was encouraging him about what an awesome opportunity it is to raise a child, to give the child a home, to love that child, and that God entrusted him with another life, and what a responsibility and the privilege that is."
The Ravens have had some outspoken players in the past. Former offensive lineman Eugene Monroe, who wants to see the NFL study the effect of marijuana use on players, was cut in June. The Ravens insisted that Monroe's beliefs had nothing to do with his release. Monroe ended up retiring in July.