The Ravens paid a visit to the White House on Wednesday to celebrate their Super Bowl title with President Barack Obama. But a few players didn’t make the trip.
Linebacker Paul Kruger decided not to attend because of his commitment to his new team, the Cleveland Browns, who were holding a session of organized team activities on Wednesday. But center Matt Birk, who is now retired, was absent for an entirely different reason.
Birk declined the president’s invitation because of political disagreements, he said on the Power Trip Morning Show on KFAN in Minneapolis, Minn., on Thursday.
“I wasn’t there,” Birk said. “I would say this: I would say that I have great respect for the office of the presidency, but about five or six weeks ago, our president made a comment in a speech, and he said, ‘God bless Planned Parenthood.'”
Birk didn’t agree with the comment.
“Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year,” Birk said. “I am Catholic. I am active in the pro-life movement, and I just felt like I couldn’t deal with that. I couldn’t endorse that in any way.”
Even without a key cog to their championship run, the rest of the Ravens seemed to thoroughly enjoy their trip to the Oval Office. Head coach John Harbuagh was so hyped up that he even decided to make a bold proclamation about making a return trip next year. If so, it’s doubtful that Birk would be in attendance, retired or not.
Thumbnail via Twitter/@ParadigmRC