By Tim Polzer
April 03, 2013

The Ravens have released linebacker/special teams player Brendon Ayanbadejo, as first reported by Pro Football Talk.

Ayanbadejo, a Raven since 2008, has been voted to three Pro Bowls as a special teams player. He was originally signed by the Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2000 and had stints with the Bears and Dolphins, and the Canadian Football League.

Ayanbadejo has made headlines as a highly visible defender of gay rights and same-sex marriage. He discussed the balance of being an NFL football player and a national spokesman as the Ravens prepared for Super Bowl XLVII.

"With this such a huge platform and being such a big game, I have to narrow my scopes and have real fine vision and know the importance of why I am here and I'm here because of the Super Bowl," Ayanbadejo told USA Today. "Of course, if I can be a voice for equality, especially after this game, then I welcome everybody to sit down and get together after the game and we'll do a lot more for equality than just talking about it now at a sporting event."

Ayanbadejo thanked the City of Baltimore and the Ravens upon his release via Twitter.

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