NFL star Matt Birk is a conservative Catholic who is willing to call abortion what it is – murder. His teammate, Brendon Ayanbadejo, is the kind of player routinely labeled a “journeyman” because while talented, superior abilities can be found among dozens of other NFL regulars. However, Ayanbadejo gets sterling news coverage because of his outspoken stance for gay marriage. One paper of record has gone so far as to call him a “civil rights activist” due to his passion for legalizing and normalizing gay marriage.
Both players were invited to the White House this week, along with the rest of their Baltimore Ravens teammates to celebrate their Super Bowl victory and enjoy some time mingling with the President and other Washington elites. Ayanbadejo, who is a vocal supporter of the President, was in attendance along with most of his teammates. Birk, however, was conspicuously absent from the celebration.
The media sought out the now retired anchor of the Ravens offensive line to find out why he was not able to be in attendance. Here was Birk’s response:
“I wasn’t there. I would say this — I would say that I have great respect for the office of the presidency, but about five or six weeks ago, our president made a comment in a speech and he said, ‘God bless Planned Parenthood.’
Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year. I am Catholic. I am active in the pro-life movement, and I just felt like I couldn’t deal with that. I couldn’t endorse that in any way.”
“I’m very confused by (Obama’s) statement,” Birk said. “For God to bless a place where they’re ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend.”
While most in the media may not necessarily agree with Birk’s stand, some have expressed respect for his opinion. Like Jay Busbee at Yahoo! Sports:
“Birk may draw some heat for his decision, but regardless of your political persuasion, you have to respect him for standing up for his beliefs. Visiting the White House is, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; credit to Birk for standing firm for his faith. “
Others, however, were not so gracious. His now ex-teammate Ayanbadejo had this to say in response to a question about Birk’s absence:
“I don’t see how anyone could ever miss that experience to go and see President Obama.”
Ayanbadejo’s criticism shows an acute lack of understanding on how pro-life Americans feel about the subject of abortion. Would you be willing to shake hands with a man who just gave a speech praising hundreds of murderers and their accomplices and ended by asking God to bless them? Probably not.