Coming Up
  • Sun., Dec. 11, 2016 1:00 AM - 1:30 AM EST Ravens Unscripted Ravens beat writers Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing join our host to tackle the latest Ravens headlines and hottest topics. Each week's show, brought to you by Ravens Productions, also features a special guest, including prominent sports media, front office staff, players or other Ravens insiders.
  • Mon., Dec. 12, 2016 8:00 PM EST Live Game Audio Broadcast Listen to the live WBAL broadcast of the Ravens at Patriots on BaltimoreRavens.com.
  • Mon., Dec. 12, 2016 8:30 PM EST Purple Club Happy Hour What's better than Happy Hour specials and Baltimore Ravens football? A Purple Club Happy Hour! Join the Purple club this season at various Buffalo Wild Wings locations to watch the Ravens on the road.
  • Mon., Dec. 12, 2016 11:45 PM EST Live Post Game Presser John Harbaugh and key players will address the media following the game.
  • Sat., Dec. 17, 2016 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM EST Ravens Report Hosted by WUSA-TV's Kristen Berset, Ravens Report, the flagship program of the Baltimore Ravens that showcases life in the NFL. Created by Ravens Productions, this magazine-style show features behind-the-scenes access to Ravens players and coaches as they prepare for each week's opponent.
  • Sat., Dec. 17, 2016 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM EST Ravens Report See the plays, hear the sideline conversations and feel the hits on Ravens Wired, the only behind-the-scenes show featuring a Ravens player wired for sound during each week's game. Go behind the Ravens bench for in-game adjustments and inside the locker room for Head Coach John Harbaugh's post-game speech. Produced by Ravens Productions, Ravens Wired is hosted by WBAL-TV's Keith Mills.
  • Sun., Dec. 18, 2016 1:00 AM - 1:30 AM EST Ravens Unscripted Ravens beat writers Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing join our host to tackle the latest Ravens headlines and hottest topics. Each week's show, brought to you by Ravens Productions, also features a special guest, including prominent sports media, front office staff, players or other Ravens insiders.
  • Sat., Dec. 24, 2016 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM EST Ravens Report Hosted by WUSA-TV's Kristen Berset, Ravens Report, the flagship program of the Baltimore Ravens that showcases life in the NFL. Created by Ravens Productions, this magazine-style show features behind-the-scenes access to Ravens players and coaches as they prepare for each week's opponent.
  • Sat., Dec. 24, 2016 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM EST Ravens Report See the plays, hear the sideline conversations and feel the hits on Ravens Wired, the only behind-the-scenes show featuring a Ravens player wired for sound during each week's game. Go behind the Ravens bench for in-game adjustments and inside the locker room for Head Coach John Harbaugh's post-game speech. Produced by Ravens Productions, Ravens Wired is hosted by WBAL-TV's Keith Mills.

News

Print
RSS

Ravens Support Brendon Ayanbadejo's Right To Speak

Posted Sep 7, 2012

The Ravens plan to write a letter responding to Maryland Delegate Emmett Burns.


The Ravens are standing behind free speech and linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo.

This week, Ayanbadejo sparked a political debate that began with same-sex marriage and has since branched into the freedom of speech.

Ayanbadejo has been a supporter of same-sex marriage for several years. He has tweeted about the issue, written a column for Huffington Post in 2009 and appeared in a pair of YouTube videos advocating for the cause, including for the organization Equality Maryland.

He most recently contributed a pair of Ravens tickets to a fundraiser for Marylanders For Marriage Equality. That upset Maryland Delegate Emmett Burns (Baltimore County), who addressed a letter to Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti and asked him to intervene.

“Many of my constituents and your football supporters are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens Football Team would step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or the other,” Burns wrote in a letter obtained by WBAL-TV.

“Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment and excitement. I believe Mr. Ayanbadejo should concentrate on football and steer clear of dividing the fan base.”

Upon seeing the letter, Ayanbadejo said he was “shocked.”

“For him to be a delegate, I was kind of shocked that he would want to silence me and tell me to stick to football in a free country,” he said. “People have died to have those rights to be able to voice those opinions – no matter what their opinions are.”

After speaking with Bisciotti, President Dick Cass told BaltimoreRavens.com that they will write Burns a response.

“We support Brendon’s right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment,” Cass said.

Ayanbadejo was nervous that his actions could impact the Ravens’ fan base. That was until Cass stopped him in the hallway outside the team’s dining room Friday afternoon. Ayanbadejo recounted their exchange to a group of reporters immediately afterwards.

“[He said] we’re in support of you and it’s good that you’re able to voice your opinion and say how you feel,” Ayanbadejo said. “Dick personally told me, ‘We’re not an organization that discriminates.’”

Ayanbadejo said the two talked about the changing sentiment about same-sex marriage, both nationally and within locker rooms. The conversation left Ayanbadejo ecstatic.

“It really made my day that Dick Cass went out of his way to talk to me today and support me, and that it came down from Mr. Bisciotti,” he said. “The Ravens organization is everything that I ever thought it was. It kind of made me feel even deeper rooted in this organization.”

Ayanbadejo feels he has a personal connection to the issue of same-sex marriage after feeling discrimination as a child. He has a Nigerian father and an Irish mother.

“Being raised as an interracial child, there was always an issue of ‘Is he black? Is he white? Is he African?’” Ayanbadejo said. “I grew up and became my own self and felt like I belonged to everybody.

“So when there was a discrimination issue, I could relate and I could understand whatever the issue was. I felt like I’ve been there, I’ve been in your shoes. It might be, ‘No, I’m not gay,’ but because I’m interracial I can identify with them. It really made me empathetic to different issues, especially when it came to equality.”

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos