A Thursday interview with Newsday sparked plenty of controversy for former Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who was officially let go by the organization earlier in the day.
The publication implied Ayanbadejo believes his outspoken support of same-sex marriage may have been a factor in the Ravens’ decision to terminate his contract despite having two years remaining on the agreement. The three-time Pro Bowl special-teams player will turn 37 at the start of the 2013 season.
“I was a vocal guy and garnered a lot of attention,” Ayanbadejo said to the publication. “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?”
The veteran acknowledged his play has dropped off in recent years, which was evident late in the season when the Ravens used young linebackers such as Josh Bynes and Albert McClellan when Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe, and Jameel McClain were sidelined with injuries.
Ayanbadejo used his official Twitter account to clarify his remarks, mentioning that he had seen “yellow journalism” at work over his words.
“Just a heads up I did an interview today and no way said I was cut because my views,” Ayanbadejo wrote. “I said my talk was louder than my production [and] at 36 when you are not producing it is a fair move. You can find cheaper guys to do what I do. Ravens are the BEST organization in the [NFL] period!”
He went on to write that team president Dick Cass and the Ravens supported his views all season and that it “makes no sense” to believe the organization dumped him for his views on marriage equality. Ayanbadejo left the door open for a potential return in responding to general manager Ozzie Newsome’s comments on Thursday but also said there’s no guarantee that he will even continue his playing career.