Ex-NFL Player Matt Birk: Ravens OK with Him Turning Down Obama Visit

By Craig Millward | June 17, 2013 | 1:08 PM EDT

Retired Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Retired Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk, who refused to attend the White House celebration of the Ravens’ Super Bowl victory because of President Barack Obama’s remarks on Planned Parenthood, said his former Ravens teammates were “glad that I did what I did” and that “the Ravens have a spiritually deep team.”

“Everybody's great with it,” Birk said when Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity asked how Birk’s teammates reacted. “We actually have— the Ravens team is a spiritually deep team, and a lot of guys congratulated me. They were glad that I did what I did.

“I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. I just declined the invitation, and when the team went, some media members noticed that I wasn't there. They asked why. I just wanted to tell the truth. I wasn’t trying to— my intent was not to make a big statement or make a big— draw of attention to it, but that's the way that it’s happened,” Birk said on “Hannity.”

“I think when you invoke the name of God when you're the president, and you're the first president to address Planned Parenthood, you can't acknowledge God and say ‘God bless Planned Parenthood,’” Birk said.

“It's a contradiction – 330,000 lives ended last year at Planned Parenthood, and being pro-choice is one thing, but bringing God into it, that's just too much for me to handle, and I just didn't see much upside in going,” he added.

Later in the interview Birk pointed out, although he wasn’t sure if it was true, that “you can't smash sea turtle eggs – those are federally protected – but yet we can end human lives.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, all six sea turtle species are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Birk finished his pro-life remarks by saying that he has met “hundreds, maybe a thousand women who have had abortions and who regret it, and those women are my heroes for their courage and their strength to join the pro-life movement and to try to stop future women from making the same mistake.

“I've had yet to meet a woman who has given birth to their child and said, ‘Boy, I wish I had an abortion,’” he added.

Birk played 15 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens and retired in February, less than three weeks after winning the Super Bowl.

The Baltimore Ravens were honored at the White House on June 5.