Brendon Ayanbadejo Cut by the Baltimore Ravens

Marriage equality ally Brendon Ayanbadejo's contract was terminated by the Baltimore Ravens yesterday, Newsday reports:

B_ayanbadejoAt tonight’s Straight for Equality Gala in Manhattan where he and Vikings punter Chris Kluwe were being honored, Ayanbadejo said his non-football activities were a factor in the Ravens’ decision.

“My bark is louder than my bite,” he told Newsday. “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?”

Ayanbadejo said he understands it’s just a piece of the ultimate decision. The three-time Pro Bowler as a special teamer said he knows the Ravens can find players to do what he does for less money and conceded that his productivity has gone down in recent years.

“But,” he said, “I don’t necessarily think that teams want this type of attention.”

The Ravens say it had nothing to do with that:

"We are surprised that Brendan would indicate that," said Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne. "We have always respected Brendan's opinions and his right to express them. He was released for football reasons, period."

UPDATE: Ayanbadejo denies he said he was cut because of his views.

Just a heads up I did an interview today and no way said I was cut because my views. 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!

Joe Jervis says he spent much time on Twitter last night reassureing fans and denouncing homophobes.


  1. SoLeftImRight says

    I have to be honest and admit I don’t know that much about the status of his abilities on the field at this point, but I hope some team snaps him up. At least he got his ring (curses, beating my 49ers!) and he is an articulate, helpful straight ally. Thanks for speaking out, Brendon.

  2. Jack M says

    Being a Ravens player, he would know better than anyone if the reasons he was being cut were due to his speaking out. It’s certainly possible, and quite shameful, if it’s true.

  3. Chris says

    Go on Brendon’s twitter; he cleared this up last night. He DOESN’T think that his advovcasy had anything to do with this. He claims “yellow journalism” was involved in this story.

  4. Francis says

    Brendon has to deal with A TON of really horrendous comments. Wow. Sad and almost scary to read. And then we question why a gay/bi player doesn’t come out.

    Brendon’s comments didn’t mean to slight the Ravens, but you can believe Brendon’s activism did play one factor in a host of factors as to why he was cut. He’s 36, high salary for a special teams player and he admits he’s declining. It’s definitely not an advantage that he’s such an outspoken advocate. This could be the end of the line for his NFL career. He seems prepared for whatever happens next. Whatever happens, he’s truly awesome.

  5. Not that Rob says


    Oh alan, just stfu and gfy. The guy had a 12 year football career. He probably knew his contract might not be renewed after this year and thought to speak up for a good cause while he was still in a position that his voice could be loudly heard.

  6. Rick says

    He is probably the only 36-year-old special teams player in the NFL. Too old to be as productive as younger, hungrier types in that role. Amazing he lasted this long.

    I am quite sure the decision to cut him was, in fact, a football decision and nothing more.

    He is a great guy who has been a pioneer and done a lot of good and hopefully will continue to do so in some capacity.

  7. Nigel says

    He is the only reason I watched the SuperBowl this year. He is the only reason I had a team to support. At the local (I’m in the caribbean) bar’s Superbowl party, when people asked why I supported the Ravens I told them because of his stance on marriage equality and lgbt rights. Surprisingly even many 49er fans started cheering for the Ravens.

  8. Rick says

    Favre and Brady are most definitely not gay. Tebow almost certainly is. Sanchez–I doubt it, but it wouldn’t shock me……but given the criticisms of Sanchez to the effect that he is a little “soft” when it comes to taking hits….and the lack of support he has experienced as a team leader from his teammates, I don’t think he would be a good candidate for coming out, regardless.

  9. Onnyjay says

    Who effin cares?? Players are players, bought sold and traded by the big money. It’s a business, not a “sport” and anyone who thinks otherwise is simply deluded. Dollars and cents, nothing more or less.

  10. Ryan says

    I love him and hope he lands on his feet with some other good team, but even if not, he’s had a very long career in the NFL and should have nothing but pride for what he’s done.

    Very, very, very few players last until 36. That’s an exceptionally long career in the NFL.

  11. LCR Jay says

    Sometimes it better to just STFU and play the game. Ayanbadejo is like an annoying guy on the street with a bullhorn, spouting a bunch of self-righteous, sanctimonious gibberish to feel important. I’m sure Raven’s fans are relieved that he’s gone. He was a complete and utter distraction.

  12. SC David says

    Brendon’s been working on his MBA for a while now, and he’ll land on his feet. He’s had a productive and rewarding career with many highlights. 36 is very old to be playing in the NFL, and his salary was not justified for the time he spent on the field. And Brendon was not controversial only for his gay-supportive activities. His tweets often confronted bible-thumpers and those who used religion to justify all sorts of madness. If you follow his Twitter feed, Brendon really was getting as much flak for his unique highly spiritual non-deism as he was for the marriage equality advocacy that TowleRoad readers knew about. The NFL works with a salary cap that limits how much a team can spend on its total payroll each season. There’s really no place on any NFL team for players that are present just to make PR statements to satisfy a few fans. This is especially true for the Ravens as they just gave their quarterback (Joe Flacco) an enormous contract. An expensive player with limited contributions and lots of off-field non-football distractions? The Ravens had no good reason to keep Brendon around. He might come back after the draft as a lower-paid player on a single-season contract, or he might end up with another team if he wants to continue to play. The special teams stuff is usually filled by newbie players just out of college who are fast and eager to impress so they can get a lucrative role in the starting lineup. And Kluwe is getting paid $1M per year, so don’t be surprised if he’s gone when his contract is up in another couple years as he’s no spring chicken either.

  13. Duration & Convexity says

    good for him for standing up for equality! So many gay people I know admire this man and have become fans of football because of Brendon

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