In the past couple months, we’ve seen some National Football League players get a lot of press coverage for coming out of the closet and admitting they’re gay or that they support same-sex marriage. But when an NFL player, even one wearing a Super Bowl ring makes a public stand for the sanctity of life, the story isn’t covered by many main stream media outlets.
Matt Birk was an offensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens. He was selected to the Pro-Bowl 6 times and in 2006-7, he was named the Vikings Man of the Year. After winning the Super Bowl earlier this year, Birk announced that he was retiring after 14 years in the NFL.
When the Ravens visited the White House this week to receive their congratulations from President Obama, Birk was absent from the team. When asked why he wasn’t at the White House, Birk said:
“I wasn’t there. 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.”
I was curious to see what media outlets carried Birk’s story. It was covered briefly by the Baltimore Sun, NBC Sports and NLF.com. As for any major news networks? Well, let’s just say that there was a typical glaring absence of coverage. Had Birk come out for something like same-sex marriage, pro-abortion, anti-gun, and so on, he would have received all kinds of coverage. But Birk chose to stand firm on his religious faith and make a statement to that affect by not attending the team’s White House visit.
I applaud Matt Birk for his courage to make a public statement for the sanctity of life. He gave up the chance to visit the White House and meet the President of the United States. He may never get that chance again, but to Birk, the lives of the unborn are more precious than the chance to meet a man who thanks God for their murders.