Ravens’ Ayanbadejo visits Dundalk High School
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 15:14

Player visits to talk about equal rights, too

by Ben Boehl

    With the entire Baltimore area getting ready for the Baltimore Ravens AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Dundalk High School students received a nice surprise on Tuesday as Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo visited the school.
    Dundalk principal Tom Shouldice said the visit was indeed a surprise.
    “They didn’t know,” Shouldice said. “I was afraid that some of the faculty might tell them, but we kept it a secret.”
    The ninth- and tenth-grade students were called into an assembly in the gym, not knowing the occasion. However; one student told The Eagle that he was told a Ravens player might appear, but he wasn’t sure which one.
    Jaime Curran is an ESOL teacher at Dundalk and thought of the idea of inviting Ayanbadejo to the school because of his strong  support for the Student Government Association (SGA).
    Curran knows that there are thousands of schools in the Baltimore area, but she decided to  send a message on his Facebook page to see if he would come out to the high school.

“I explained we are SGA and told him we have no budget,” Curran said.    
    “He is a role model and I just sent him a message. He responded on Christmas Eve that he would come to the school.”
    Coincidently, Ayanbadejo’s visit came at an interesting time as the Ravens are one win away from the Super Bowl and Ayanbadejo made national headlines on Monday when he wrote on Twitter about the Ravens’ opponent.
    “New England does some suspect stuff on offense. Can’t really respect it. Comparable to a cheap shot b4 a fight,” Ayanbadejo wrote.
    He later tweeted an apology.
    “I made selfish comments on Twitter last night that reflected poorly upon myself, my teammates, and the organization. For that I apologize.”
    At Dundalk, he made reference to the situation. A student asked Ayanbadejo how the Ravens were going to beat the Patriots.
    “If I give you some top secret information, we are going to keep it in this room, right? I don’t want you to go on Twitter like me,” Ayanbadejo joked to the students.
    Ayanbadejo never gave any secrets and just said that Patriot quarterback Tom Brady is a great quarterback like Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning.
    Ayanbadejo was at the school to talk about equality. He said he was a supporter of same-sex marriage and is proud that it passed here in Maryland. Ayanbadejo said his bi-racial background is one of the main reasons why he supports equal rights.
    He also told students about his career that started in junior college and that he did not have the grades and the amount of extracurricular activities to go to a four-year school. He later transferred to play at UCLA.
    “I should have paid attention a bit more in school,” he said.
    When asked who he’d like to play if the Ravens beat New England and go to the Super Bowl, he answered, “Honestly, I want the 49ers. I want the Harbaugh Bowl, but I don’t care who we play if we go.”