After his teammate joined the fight against gay marriage, Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo, a vocal supporter for legalizing it, defended Matt Birk against online bashers.
"I don't think he's homophobic," Ayanbadejo told one Birk critic on Twitter Monday night. "Matt Birk is an amazing father, teammate, man! Even if he & I disagree on marriage equality we agree on 95% of other issues."
Birk, a Ravens center, is expected to film a video this week opposing Maryland's new same-sex marriage law.
"I took a stance like other guys have done before me," Birk said Monday at team headquarters in Owings Mills. "Obviously, we all have opinions. … It's certainly a very inflammatory, very hot topic, because it's important."
Ayanbadejo, however, has actively fought to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland, being one of the first local celebrities to join the cause.
Last month Maryland Del. Emmet C. Burns Jr. wrote to Ravens officials, demanding they stop Ayanbadejo from speaking out in favor of gay marriage. After a very public dust-up, Burns changed his tune, saying he supported the football player's First Amendment rights.
"He's doing what he thinks is right," Ayanbadejo told another questioner on Twitter, saying that Birk had given him a head's up that he planned to take a stance on the issue.
He then tweeted: "Birk=Harvard grad and nfl humanitarian of the year. home schools his kids. Trust me he's a great intelligent being. Religion based opinion."