The Baltimore Sun's Ravens Insider blog:
In the wake of Ravens special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo taking a strong public stance supporting same-sex marriage, one of his teammates has expressed an opposing view on this high-profile political topic.
Six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk, a Catholic and married father of six children who grew up in St. Paul, Minn., has appeared in an online video for the Minnesota Catholic Conference where he asks voters to keep marriage between only a man and a woman. Birk also wrote an editorial that appeared in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Birk emphasized today that his political views won't divide the locker room, adding that he alerted Ayanbadejo before the editorial ran in the newspaper to make sure he wouldn't be caught off guard.
"I took a stance like other guys have done before me," Birk said today at team headquarters. "In doing so, it's really not my aim not my goal to engage in any debates with any one person or persons. Obviously, we all have opinions. They have their opinions. It just so happens that we disagree on what marriage is in the public forum. It's certainly a very inflammatory, very hot topic, because it's important. I understand that. Out of respect to my teammates and my team and the organization, this isn't going to turn into a circus. It probably won't be the last time that I publicly take a stance on it. I'm just asking you guys out of respect for everybody that my focus and our focus here is on football and on winning football games.
"I let Brendon know that I respect him because I've known Brendon for a while and I played with his brother [Obafemi Ayanbadejo]. And I like Brendon and I respect him a lot. I told him on Friday that I was going to have a piece coming out. I wanted to let him know so he wouldn't be blindsided by it. I haven't had a chance to talk to him today."