Brendon Ayanbadejo Doesn’t Think his Activism Played a Role in his Release from Baltimore


One of the NFL’s most vocal gay rights activists was released by his team earlier this month, causing many to wonder whether Brendon Ayanbadejo lost his job because of his outspokenness regarding controversial issues. But Ayanbadejo doesn’t believe he was let go by the Super Bowl-champion Ravens for non-football reasons. Brendon Ayanbadejo joined Toucher & Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston to discuss his release from Baltimore, his push for equal rights and acceptance in the world of professional sports and his belief that a player will eventually come out at the NFL level. He also got into a little tiff with the hosts regarding, um, “bitchassness.”
On not believing he was released because he is outspoken regarding equal rights:
“No, not at all. I just was saying, basically, when there’s an issue that’s bigger than the NFL — and the issue of equal rights and human rights is far more important than the sport, and it always will be — when it’s issues like that that are touched upon, teams don’t want to touch issues like that, meaning the league as a whole. And they’ve yet to even address equal rights as far as the NFL’s been around.”

On the NFL not having publicly supported equal rights:

“NHL just did it now and the other sports have done it here and there, but I think the NFL’s made the biggest splash, but as a whole in sports culture, we haven’t made a splash on this issue of equal rights.”

On how difficult he believes it would be for a player once coming out:

“I think it would be easier in the locker room than it would be when you’re in an opposing stadium or when you’re out in public. You’ve got 60 guys in a locker room, pretty close-knit group — there definitely would be some bumps in the road, some things to talk about.”

On his belief that a player or players will eventually come out:

“I think it’s gonna happen eventually, but I don’t think it’s gonna be as bad as people think. And the sooner we get through those walls, the easier it’s gonna be to transition out of it.”

His response when asked to give examples of things that are “bitchassness,” which is a term he used to describe the Patriots offense in January:

“You guys bringing this up is bitchassness. … That’s fine, I tweeted it, but what are you having me on radio for? Are you hear to talk? Are you hear to promote a good cause, or are you hear to bring up old bones? I just don’t get it. I’m giving my time to be on your radio station and be courteous and then you want to bring up some old stuff that obviously wasn’t a positive thing, but it is what it is so we move on.”

His response to a host’s suggestion that his shirtless Twitter avatar represented “bitchassness:”

“I can take my shirt off and I can flex. What can you do? You can sit on a radio since your face can’t be on TV? So it’s OK, relax.”

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