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Brendon Ayanbadejo thinks Nick Saban traded him because he took paternity leave

Brendon-Ayanbadejo-Complaining-About-AFC-ChampionshipFormer NFL linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo can relate to New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy. Like Murphy, Ayanbadejo once faced criticism during his career after he chose to be with his wife for the birth of his child. The difference is Murphy has received the support of his coaching staff.

In his FOX Sports column on Friday, Ayanbadejo wrote about how he took a small amount of time off from preseason action with the Miami Dolphins back in 2005 when his daughter was born. He said that Nick Saban, who was coaching in Miami at the time, made it clear that he did not approve of him missing any practice time to be with family.

Despite Saban’s wishes, Ayanbadejo said he took a total of about 36 hours off to be with his wife — who was recovering from having a C-section — and newborn child. He was traded shortly thereafter.

Five days after the birth of my child, I found out that I was traded to the Chicago Bears. Due to the timing of the circumstances, it was a nightmare. But in retrospect, it was clearly one of the best things that happened to my football career.

As I left Miami, I had more questions than answers. Did Saban ship me off because I put my family before football? Did the team question my desire to be a Dolphin because of my life priorities?

Personally, I don’t see the issue with players taking a little bit of time off to be with their families when a child is born. We wouldn’t question anyone in any other profession if they did that. At the same time, I’m not surprised to hear that Saban supposedly did not approve. We all know how he can be.

Related: Boomer Esiason apologizes for comments about Daniel Murphy’s paternity leave

Brendon Ayanbadejo: ‘Handful’ of gay players considering coming out at once

brendon ayanbadejoFormer Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is one of the most outspoken supporters of same-sex equality in all of professional sports. He used the Super Bowl as a platform for expressing his views on gay rights and anti-bullying and continues to work with the LGBT community to create a safe environment for gay players in the NFL.

Last week, a report from CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman indicated that a current NFL player is “strongly considering” coming out as gay in the near future. During an interview with The Baltimore Sun on Friday, Ayanbadejo said he expects that to happen soon, but with more than one player at the same time.

“I think it will happen sooner than you think,” Ayanbadejo said. “We’re in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now and they’re trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out.

“Of course, there would be backlash. If they could share the backlash, it would be more positive. It’s cool. It’s exciting. We’re in talks with a few guys who are considering it. The NFL and organizations are already being proactive and open if a player does it and if something negative happens. We’ll see what happens.”

According to OutSports.com, Ayanbadejo later clarified in an interview with Anderson Cooper that such an announcement may not be as imminent as he previously indicated.

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Brendon Ayanbadejo plans to use Super Bowl as platform for his gay rights, anti-bullying messages

brendon ayanbadejoBaltimore Ravens linebacker/special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo already has his plans prepared for Super Bowl week. No, he’s not going to be visiting the finest restaurants and nightclubs in New Orleans. Ayanbadejo is planning to use the media blitz at the Super Bowl as an opportunity to express his views on gay rights and anti-bullying.

Ayanbadejo is biracial and grew up in a liberal environment where discrimination was frowned upon. His stepfather was a resident director for an LGBT dorm at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Ayanbadejo and his family lived in the dorm, which helped him develop passionate feelings for gay rights.

Earlier this season, Ayanbadejo was at the center of a controversy that developed when a Maryland politician wrote a letter to the Ravens telling them to silence the linebacker from speaking out. Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe jumped in and wrote a scathing letter toward the politician admonishing him for discouraging a citizen from sharing their views.

Ayanbadejo remains passionate about gay rights and anti-bullying. In fact, he began working on plans to get out his message as soon as the Ravens clinched a berth to the Super Bowl.

According to The New York Times, Ayanbadejo emailed two marriage equality advocates hours after returning home from the team’s win over the New England Patriots last weekend. He’s even swapped emails with the founder and executive director of Athlete Ally, a group dedicated to ridding sports at all levels of homophobia. He’s trying to organize plans to speak out for gay rights in the week leading up to the big game.

Ayanbadejo even has his dream scenario in mind: the Ravens win the Super Bowl, and he celebrates as a guest on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show, where the two talk about the importance of equality for gays and lesbians.

You might wonder if the Ravens are worried about Ayanbadejo’s plans to speak out during Super Bowl week becoming a distraction. We don’t know their thoughts on the matter, but we do know the team managed to beat the Patriots despite him causing a stir the week before the game, so they are used to him becoming the focus of attention.

Brendon Ayanbadejo apologizes for ripping Patriots on Twitter

brendon ayanbadejoOn Sunday night, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo ripped the New England Patriots for running a “gimmick” offense against the Houston Texans and basically called them cheaters. He even referenced Spygate and ended his rant with a simple “18-1″ callout after a number of Patriots fans began blasting him on Twitter.

Either Ayanbadejo woke up with a clear head on Monday morning, or someone from the Ravens organization told him that his comments were completely unnecessary.

Here are the tweets that may have gotten Ayanbadejo into hot water with his teammates:

Whether you agree with Ayanabadejo that the Patriots’ quick-snap offense is sneaky or not, most of his comments were pointless. There’s enough history between New England and Baltimore where bulletin board material is not needed — especially this early in the week. Naturally, Tom Brady said the Patriots are letting the smack talk go in one ear and out the other.

“We’ve had a lot of people comment about our team and our players this year,” Brady told WEEI on Monday. “I think the best thing that we do is ignore the noise and go out and try to prepare. Nothing really that anybody says or does is going to affect what happens next Sunday. If people want to say things or write things, they have the liberty to do that. It doesn’t really have any bearing on what we do.”

When reading the tweets, I got the impression that Ayanbadejo was simply hoping the Texans would win and decided to vent about it once the Patriots began blowing them out. Instead of complaining about the way New England runs its offense, the Ravens linebacker should be working with his team to figure out ways to counter it. It’s probably safe to assume we won’t be hearing much from him again until Sunday, which unfortunately for all of us football fans is still a full six days away.

It’s also interesting to note that Ayanbadejo has a history of trash talking that goes back to his college days. As commenter Gene pointed out, Ayanbadejo, then a senior linebacker at UCLA, ripped USC freshman quarterback Carson Palmer following the Bruins’ 34-17 win over the Trojans in 1998. While Ayanbadejo left for the NFL after that game, USC went on a seven-game winning streak against UCLA, including three wins led by Palmer. Ayanbadejo also said last year that the two best teams in the NFL weren’t playing in the Super Bowl.

Ayanbadejo has a tendency to put his teams in a bad spot with his words.

Ravens LB Brendon Ayanbadejo blasts Patriots for running sneaky offense

brendon ayanbadejoThe New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens will meet in the AFC Championship Game for the second season in a row, and Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo just made things more interesting.

The special teams master was critical of the Patriots’ offense while watching them against the Houston Texans in the playoffs Sunday. He called the Pats out for what he felt was shady play.

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Brendon Ayanbadejo Says the Two Best Teams Are Not in the Super Bowl, Calls Joe Flacco a ‘Nobody’ and More

Nothing brings out a sore loser quite like Twitter.  Before Twitter, we had to rely on players flapping their gums at the media in order to get a disrespectful quote or two after a loss.  As we have learned over the years, typing things on your Twitter account seems to be a lot easier than actually saying them.  While even the loudest of loud mouths like Terrell Suggs have been giving the opposition the credit they deserve, Baltimore linebacker Bredon Ayanbadejo took to Twitter on Monday and went on a rampage that is still ongoing as I type this.  Here are some of his most memorable tweets thus far:

What does the Patriots’ schedule have to do with Sunday’s game? Timing is everything.  If the 2007 Giants played the 2007 Patriots, New England might win nine out of 10 times.  All that matters is being the best team on the most important day.  Sunday was the most important day of the year for all four teams in the conference championships, and the Patriots and Giants did enough to advance.  The Ravens and Niners could not.  Whether they are the most talented and balanced teams or not is completely irrelevant.  Crying just makes you look bad.

H/T Black Sports Online