Birk: Ravens Teammates 'Congratulated' Me for Declining WH Invite
Former Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk said many of his former teammates congratulated him for declining an invite to see President Barack Obama at the White House last week to celebrate the Ravens's Super Bowl championship.
Appearing on Fox News's "Hannity" on Thursday, Birk, who retired after the Super Bowl, emphasized that he did not see "much upside" in going to the White House after President Barack Obama "invoked the name of God" while praising Planned Parenthood. Obama became the first sitting president to address the organization.
"A lot of guys congratulated me," Birk said, "They were glad that I did what I did."
He noted the Ravens were "a spiritually deep team" and "everybody's great with it."
Birk said he believed one cannot say "God bless Planned Parenthood," as Obama did in April, because "it's a contradiction," noting that the organization was responsible for aborting nearly 300,000 babies last year.
He said Obama's comments, especially "bringing God into it," was "too much" for him to handle.
Birk said he never intended to make a big statement, but reporters noticed he was not with the team at the ceremony and asked some of the players why that was so. He also expressed disappointment that abortion has been "pushed down the list of priorities," and said it was outrageous that the eggs of sea turtles cannot be smashed but unborn human lives are allowed to be taken away. He said he has worked with many women who have aborted children and are now a part of the pro-life movement because they have come to regret their decisions.
Last season, Birk and Brendon Ayanbadejo, who was his former teammate, had opposing views on gay marriage and were on opposite sides of a Maryland initiative to legalize same-sex marriage. Birk opposed and cut a video for a Catholic group that opposed the initiative while Ayandabejo was outspoken in support.