As first reported by Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Ravens’ National Anthem Singer and Baltimore native Joey Odoms is resigning from the position. Odoms, who has performed the duty since 2014 released an official statement via his Instagram page.
The official statement:
Dear Ravens Flock
I am resigning as Official National Anthem Singer of the Baltimore Ravens. The people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at the Ravens organization have been nothing but nice to me, however the tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country’s cultural crisis , have convinced me that I do not belong there. Someone once told me to always “go where you’re welcomed”. This is not an emotional reaction to recent events, rather an ethical decision that part of me regrets but my core knows is the right choice.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to grow as a performer and for allowing me to live out my dream of sharing my gift with you.
It is unclear based on Odoms’ statement what his beliefs are in the situation, but he served in the National Guard and in Afghanistan prior to becoming the Ravens’ National Anthem Singer. It was while he was in Afghanistan that he became acquainted with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and mentioned that he wanted to take on the role for the Ravens in the future.
Odoms’ resignation comes days after several NFL teams — including the Ravens — held protests during the National Anthem.