Pro-life stance leads Birk to skip White House visit

The 2012 Baltimore Ravens, who wound up winning Super Bowl XLVII, certainly had some strong personalities and convictions when it came to things other than football.

Namely politics and religion.

Ray Lewis' sermons were well documented. And there were the opposing stances on gay marriage from Bernard Pollard and Brendan Ayanbadejo that fueled several media stories and talk.

Now, comes a report from a Minnesota radio station, KFAN, and picked up by the Baltimore Sun, that retired Ravens center Matt Birk skipped out on his invitation to the White House with the champs on Wednesday due to his pro-life stance on abortion and comments made by President Obama championing Planned Parenthood.

"I wasn't there," Birk said. "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.'

"Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year. 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. I'm very confused by [Obama's] statement. For God to bless a place where they're ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend."

In that regard, Birk deserves credit for sticking to his principles, whether or not you agree with his stance on the topic.

With Birk and all the others mentioned above gone from the Ravens, 2013 figures to be downright boring in the Baltimore locker room when the topic shifts away from football.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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