When the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens visited the White House on Wednesday, one of their key players did not attend.
Matt Birk, who has since retired, said he boycotted the trip because he did not agree with President Obama's support of Planned Parenthood.
The former Minnesota Vikings center told KFAN (100.3 FM) Radio on Thursday 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."
Obama concluded a speech to Planned Parenthood's convention in April by saying, "Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you. God bless America."
During the NFL season, Birk wrote an opinion piece for the Star Tribune in opposition to same-sex marriage, which has since been legalized in Minnesota.
Birk, 36, went to high school at Cretin Derham Hall before graduating from Harvard. He was drafted by the Vikings in 1998 and played 11 seasons for the Vikings before signing with Baltimore in 2009. The Ravens won the Super Bowl in January.
Birk, a six-time Pro Bowler, and his wife have six children.
|NY Mets||6||Top 6th Inning|
|Philadelphia||0||Bottom 6th Inning|
|Miami||3||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Boston||3||Top 7th Inning|
|Minnesota||1||Top 7th Inning|
|NY Yankees||2||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Toronto||2||Top 8th Inning|
|Los Angeles||3:05 PM|
|San Francisco||3:05 PM|
|San Antonio||7:00 PM|
|New Jersey||6:00 PM|
|NY Rangers||6:00 PM|
|Grambling St||51||2nd Half 14:40|
|NC A&T||3:00 PM|
|Mount St Marys||6:00 PM|
|Delaware State||8:00 PM|
|Miss Valley St||8:00 PM|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||8:00 PM|
|North Dakota St|
|TX-San Antonio||9:30 PM|
|SC State||48||2nd Half 3:21|
|Denver||37||2nd Half 18:27|
|Utah State||3||1st Half 18:16|
|Alabama A&M||5:30 PM|
|Fla Gulf Coast|
|East Tenn St||6:00 PM|
|Kennesaw St||6:00 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||6:00 PM|
|St Johns||8:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||8:00 PM|
|TX-San Antonio||8:30 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||10:30 PM|
|Long Beach St|
|San Diego State||10:30 PM|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm||X||27-13|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm||X||20-16|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm||X||34-14|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm||X||24-23|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon||X||34-24|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon||X||31-30|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon||X||31-27|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon||X||34-27|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||35-10|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm||X||23-7|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm||X||44-31|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon||X||27-23|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm||X||34-27|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm||X||41-20|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon||26-26|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||23-20|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon||X||29-26|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon||X||48-30|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon||X||42-14|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon||X||14-13|
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