Colin Kaepernick would be a Raven today if not for his girlfriend’s itchy Twitter fingers, according to Ravens legend and unofficial spokesman Ray Lewis.
The retired linebacker suggested on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” on Tuesday that a “racist” tweet from Nessa Diab depicting him and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was the reason the Baltimore Ravens passed over Kaepernick last month. The Aug. 2 tweet compared Lewis to Stephen, the loathsome, loyal house slave in “Django Unchained” (played by Samuel L. Jackson) and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to slave master Calvin Candie (played by Leonardo DiCaprio).
— NESSA (@nessnitty) August 3, 2017
Diab posted the tweet after Lewis said Kaepernick needed to quiet down with his social activism if he wanted to get a new job in the NFL.
According to Lewis, that was enough to convince Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome to pass over the talented former 49er as a backup to Joe Flacco.
“We were going to close the deal to sign him,” Lewis said, per ESPN. “Steve Bisciotti said, ‘I want to hear Colin Kaepernick speak to let me know that he wants to play football.’…And it never happens because that picture comes up the next day.”
Kaepernick is known most in 2017 for his on-field protests last season, in which he knelt for “The Star-Spangled Banner” in protest of a pattern of police killings of black Americans. Other players joined in on the form of protest, and his colleagues and fans have since shown solidarity for Kaepernick, who still can’t land a job. For what it’s worth, Kaepernick has since said he won’t be kneeling for the national anthem anymore if he gets signed.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh ignited a fiery discussion about Kaepernick in Baltimore this summer after suggesting during a press conference that the Ravens could sign him as a strong backup to the injured Flacco. Harbaugh’s brother, Jim, coached Kaepernick during their years together in San Francisco, and the Ravens coach said he was a fan of him as a person and player.
As FiveThirtyEight pointed out early in March, quarterbacks with similar QB ratings to Kaepernick’s are usually signed several weeks into free agency. And yet, none bit on the ex-49er.
The Ravens opted instead to stick with Ryan Mallett, and signed a young former indoor football league quarterback named David Olson to be the third stringer during training camp just to be safe. (He’s since been cut.)
Harbaugh deflected on the entire matter yesterday during a press conference, keeping his eyes on the season kickoff approaching this Sunday.
“”I’m not exactly sure what all was said,” he said, per ESPN. “But I can tell you this: I’m way past that. I haven’t even thought about that for weeks. Our focus is Cincinnati.”
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