After speaking with Bisciotti, President Dick Cass told BaltimoreRavens.com that they will write Burns a response. “We support Brendon’s right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment,” Cass said.
Ayanbadejo was nervous that his actions could impact the Ravens’ fan base. That was until Cass stopped him in the hallway outside the team’s dining room Friday afternoon. Ayanbadejo recounted their exchange to a group of reporters immediately afterwards.
“[He said] we’re in support of you and it’s good that you’re able to voice your opinion and say how you feel,” Ayanbadejo said. “Dick personally told me, ‘We’re not an organization that discriminates.’”
Ayanbadejo said the two talked about the changing sentiment about same-sex marriage, both nationally and within locker rooms. The conversation left Ayanbadejo ecstatic.
“It really made my day that Dick Cass went out of his way to talk to me today and support me, and that it came down from Mr. Bisciotti,” he said. “The Ravens organization is everything that I ever thought it was. It kind of made me feel even deeper rooted in this organization.”
Ayanbadejo feels he has a personal connection to the issue of same-sex marriage after feeling discrimination as a child. He has a Nigerian father and an Irish mother.
“Being raised as an interracial child, there was always an issue of ‘Is he black? Is he white? Is he African?’” Ayanbadejo said. “I grew up and became my own self and felt like I belonged to everybody. “So when there was a discrimination issue, I could relate and I could understand whatever the issue was. I felt like I’ve been there, I’ve been in your shoes. It might be, ‘No, I’m not gay,’ but because I’m interracial I can identify with them. It really made me empathetic to different issues, especially when it came to equality.”