Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 4/4/13

The Baltimore Ravens cut ties with Brandon Ayanbadejo on Thursday, and the special teamer says it wasn’t due to poor performance on the field. Ayanbadejo has long been among the strongest voices in the sports world advocating for marriage equity. He was honored for his gay rights activism alongside Vikings punter Chris Kluwe at the Straight for Equality Gala in New York City on Thursday, at which he claimed that same activism contributed to the Ravens’ decision to release him. “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?” Playing a relatively thankless role as a backup linebacker and special teams player, Ayanbadejo rarely garners headlines for his play on the field. But his outspoken personality has created significant buzz, most notably last September, when a Maryland politician wrote a letter demanding that the Ravens take steps to limit Ayanbadejo’s public expression. This outspoken attitude, he says, may have rubbed some in the Baltimore organization the wrong way, or at least made it easier for the team to release him. “I was a vocal guy and garnered a lot of attention,” he said. “I brought a lot of issues with me to the Super Bowl and the issues came up at the Super Bowl. “One thing I want to do is I want to facilitate change and be a catalyst for change. I want the NFL to make a stance. Other Fortune 500 companies, Apple, Google, they’ve taken a stance against discrimination. You look at the International Soccer Federation and they’ve taken a stance against discrimination. I’m really waiting for the NFL to.” The Ravens denied that Ayanbadejo’s views had any bearing on the team’s decision. “We are surprised that Brendan would indicate that,” Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said. “We have always respected Brendan’s opinions and his right to express them. He was released for football reasons, period.” Photo of the night Jaromir Jagr (left) was all smiles after scoring his first goal in a Bruins uniform. Photo via Facebook/Boston Bruins Tweet of the night Lane MacDermid had himself a nice debut down in Dallas. Lane MacDermid, 1 of the players Bruins traded for Jagr, got 1st NHL goal--on 31st anniv. of his dad's. #DallasStars http://t.co/4xQ3gHPXWK— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) April 04, 2013 Video of the night Nothing goes together quite like country music and Austrian hockey fights.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LISTEN: Kevin Harlan saves MNF again by doing play-by-play of two idiots on the field

Jets security guards make best tackles of the night on fan rushing field

NFL changes stance, Titans and Browns can participate in ‘My Cause My Cleats’ campaign

Report: MLB smashed old revenue record in 2016

Percy Harvin out for season due to migraines

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ducks goalie had embarrassing reason for not playing in relief

Bruce Arians emphatically shoots down retirement rumor

Siemian out of walking boot; Broncos hoping he can play

Report: Harper seeking $400 million, likely to leave Nationals

Report: Aldon Smith setting up meeting to seek reinstatement

Rams players vent frustrations as losses pile up

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

MLB Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

James Franklin, Penn State come up roses

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

Joakim Noah’s contract is becoming worst deal in NBA

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

James Franklin, Penn State come up roses

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker