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Ravens' Birk enters same-sex marriage debate


Ravens' Birk enters same-sex marriage debate

Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo recently made a splash across media platforms because of his support for legalized same-sex marriage though actually the splash had more to do with a Maryland legislators reaction to Ayanbadejos stance.

Another Raven, center Matt Birk, has now entered the debate with an opinion piece that was published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune this weekend. Birk, a former Viking, is a native Minnesotan.

Birk takes an opposite view from Ayanbadejo, but he does so in a reasoned, intelligent manner befitting a Harvard graduate.

Birk makes the point that issues of free speech arent what this debate is about. He writes: The conversation during the last few weeks on the subject of same-sex marriage appears to be drawing a false connection between supporting true American values like free speech and the institution of marriage, our most fundamental and important social institution.

Later in his article, Birks laments how the discussion can devolve into demonizing those who take his position regarding preserving the traditional definition of marriage.

People who are simply acknowledging the basic reality of marriage between one man and one woman are being labeled as bigots and homophobic. Aren't we past that as a society? Attempting to silence those who may disagree with you is always un-American, but especially when it is through name-calling, it has no place in respectful conversation.

You might not support Birks position on same-sex marriage, but its hard to argue against a call for civility in public discourse. And just imagine, it comes from a man who spends his Sundays doing a most uncivil thing slamming into 300-pound defensive linemen.

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.


“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.