OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday released reserve linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, an outspoken champion of LGBT rights and marriage equality, from his contract.
Ayanbadejo has played 10 seasons in the NFL, the last five with Baltimore. He started four games at linebacker for the Ravens, but his main contribution was on special teams.
Just hours before the announcement, Ayanbadejo and other LGBT sports leaders met with the NFL to discuss gay issues in the league, reported Outsports.com.
Following the announcement, Ayanbadejo tweeted, “I would like to thank the city of Baltimore and the Ravens organization for an amazing ride. We will forever be united as champions!”
Ayanbadejo, 36, has been an open proponent for gay marriage, a stance he reiterated in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. He also campaigned for the successful ballot measure last year in Maryland legalizing same-sex marriage.
Ayanbadejo will be honored along with Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe for their pro-gay marriage activism at a Straight for Equality event on Thursday night in New York.