In an interview on Minneapolis-St. Paul’s KFAN FM 100.3 “The Power Trip Morning Show” on Thursday morning, the now-retired Baltimore Ravens’ 2013 Super Bowl champion center Matt Birk said he declined a visit to the White House earlier this week due to President Barack Obama’s remarks about Planned Parenthood earlier this year.
“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.’ Planned Parenthood performs about 330 [thousand] abortions a year. I am a Catholic. I’m 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 and was very confused by that statement — for God to bless a place where they’re ending 330,000 lives a year, so I just chose not to attend.”
Birk also took a jab at the sports media, accusing them of trying to bait certain NFL stars into giving a response that would generate headlines and referred to the questions asked of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
“He made his position clear,” Birk said. “He keeps getting asked about it. That’s more of a reflection on the media, or that specific person in the media who was asking the question over and over and over. Obviously they’re just trying — trying to get him to say something that will make headlines, and that’s unfortunate. He made his statement, and I’m sure that if he wanted to get more involved or be more vocal on the issue — I think Adrian Peterson has got a platform, I mean everybody has got a platform these days if you’re on social media. If you’re going to take a stand, if you’re going to make your stance known, you have to be prepared for that.”