Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti confirmed Sunday, July 30, that the team is still weighing its options for a new quarterback, with blacklisted footballer Colin Kaepernick among the list of potential candidates.
The news didn’t go over so well with some Ravens fans, however.
NFL Network analyst Micheal Silver tweeted that the team “has heard from numerous fans regarding Kaepernick in the last couple of days, many staunchly opposed to his signing,” an unsurprising response following the free agent’s controversial national anthem protest last year.
To the displeasure of so-called “patriots” and die-hard football fans, Kaepernick utilized his platform to speak out against state-sanctioned violence and racial injustices faced by Black people in America. Now, some of the Ravens’ fans are doing all they can to make it clear they don’t want him signed by the Baltimore-based team — or any NFL team, for that matter.
Fans issued a similar response earlier this year when the New York Giants announced it was considering the former San Francisco 49er for a spot on the team. The idea was quickly shot down by fans, however.
“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Giants co-owner John Mara told Sports Illustrated in May. ” ‘If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game,’ [the fans wrote]. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot.”
“It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I’ve run into,” Mara continued.
Though Bisciotti is still considering Kaepernick for his team, the owner said he isn’t quite sure that the quarterback will help the Ravens pull out more wins.
“We are monitoring Joe [Flacco and his back injury],” Bisciotti at a recent NFL fan forum. “We’ve talked to Joe about it. We are monitoring [backup Ryan] Mallett and keeping our door open. We’ve talked about RG3 [Robert Griffin III] and bringing him in for a workout.
“We’re trying to figure what’s the right tact,” he added. “Pray for us.”
ESPN reported that the Ravens have discussed the possibility of bringing Kaepernick on with both current and former players — including Ray Rice, who was once charged with double murder. On a Monday morning edition of “Undisputed,” Lewis and host Shannon Sharpe passionately debated whether or not signing Kaepernick would hurt the Ravens’ brand.
The retired Raven contended that the issues of police brutality and racial injustice aren’t the fight of the NFL and its owners, and should be a non-issue in such an arena. Sharpe strongly disagreed.
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) July 31, 2017
Linebacker Terrell Suggs, the Ravens’ longest-tenured player, told the sports network he would be accepting of Kaepernick if he was picked up by the team.
“Hell yeah, if he’s going to help us win,” Suggs said. “We have no issues. Not in the locker room. Hell yeah, we want him.”