In New York where he will be honored at tonight’s Straight for Equality Gala, Brendon Ayanbadejo told a local newspaper reporter that he thinks one of the reasons that he was cut by the Ravens was because of his outspoken advocacy for same-sex marriage.

“My bark is louder than my bite,” Ayanbadejo told Newsday. “I make a lot of noise and garner a lot of attention for various things off the football field. When that starts happening, why do you have that player around?”

According to the newspaper, Ayanbadejo, a reserve linebacker and special teams standout who turns 37 in September, conceded that his productivity had gone done in recent seasons and acknowledged that the Ravens could find a player to fill his role at less than the $940,000 in base salary that he was due to make during the 2013 season.

“But,” he told Newsday, “I don’t necessarily think that teams want this type of attention.”

The Ravens, who officially announced Ayanbadejo’s release Thursday after he spent five seasons with them playing primarily on special teams, denied that the player’s views and outspoken nature had anything to do with the roster decision.

“We’re surprised that he would indicate this. We have always been respectful of Brendon’s opinions and his right to express those,” said Kevin Byrne, the Ravens' senior vice president for public and community relations. “Our decision regarding his departure from the team has everything to do with football. Nothing else.”

Ayanbadejo’s release left the Ravens without eight of their nine oldest players from the team that won Super Bowl XLVII a little more than two months ago.

In announcing the roster move, both general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh praised Ayanbadejo, who played 62 games, including four starts, over five seasons and made 83 tackles to go along with 4 ½ sacks and one interception.