Former Ravens center Matt Birk was among the numerous players who missed the trip to the White House on Wednesday (where President Obama made fun of Ray Lewis's signature dance and called Ed Reed old). In a radio interview Thursday morning on Minnesota's KFAN, he said it was because of a speech the president had given earlier this year where he praised Planned Parenthood.
"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,'" said Birk, who retired from the NFL shortly after helping the Ravens win the Super Bowl in February.
He later added: "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."
Planned Parenthood, an organization that supplies women with health services ranging from helping them get mammograms to birth control, has been a political hotpoint for the past few years. This is not the first time that Birk, who has long been outspoken about his religious beliefs, has made news for his stances. In 2012, he penned an op-ed to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune to voice his opposition of gay marriage.
"I'm very confused by [the President's] statement," Birk continued in the interview Thursday morning. "For God to bless a place where they're ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend."
From the looks of the pictures from the event, it seems he missed a roaring good time.