Colin Kaepernick has remained unemployed for the better part of a year. Despite constantly making headlines, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been unable to land a contract with a new NFL team.
According to NY Daily News, Baltimore Ravens majority owner, Steve Bisciotti, was in close discussions with legendary linebacker Ray Lewis to sign Colin Kaepernick. However, the two decided against it when Kaepernick’s girlfriend, radio host Nessa Diab, posted a “racist gesture” on Twitter that ridiculed both Bisciotti and Lewis.
On Tuesday, Lewis began talking about Kaepernick’s controversial stint as a free agent on the Showtime program Inside the NFL. As Lewis told his co-hosts, the true reason the Ravens ultimately passed on signing Kaepernick was because of an offensive tweet by Kaepernick’s girlfriend.
Nessa Diab has been involved with Kaepernick since 2015. She is a San Francisco-based radio personality and TV host whose political opinions are left-of-center. Diab is Muslim, and her parents are Egyptian.
It wasn’t until after Kaepernick began his relationship with Diab that he started making political statements. His most well-known bit of “activism” has been his refusal to stand for the national anthem during football games, as reported by NFL.com.
As the Miami Herald notes, Kaepernick also received significant criticism for praising Fidel Castro. Observers pointed to this as a major reason for the quarterback being passed over by the Miami Dolphins.
The “racist” tweet Lewis points to as the deal-breaker for a Kaepernick-Ravens contract juxtaposes a photo of Ray Lewis embracing Steve Bisciotti with a screen capture from the film Django Unchained.
The scene depicts a slave, played by Samuel L. Jackson, lovingly holding his dying white slave master, played by Leonardo Dicaprio. The tweet seems to insinuate that Bisciotti is a “slave master,” taking advantage of black football players, and that Lewis is his enabler. The former Ravens linebacker spoke to Inside the NFL’s co-hosts on the matter:
“When me and Steve Bisciotti were talking, this is what we were talking about, Judy. We were talking about giving this kid an opportunity to get back in the National Football League. Look, this is what I wanted to share with people. I have been fighting for this kid behind the table like nobody has… I’ve never been against Colin Kaepernick. But I am against the way he’s done it.”
Lewis continued, “Then, his girl [Colin Kaepernick’s girlfriend] goes out and put out this racist gesture and doesn’t know we are in the back office about to try to get this guy signed. Steve Bisciotti has said it himself, ‘How can you crucify Ray Lewis when Ray Lewis is the one calling for Colin Kaepernick?'” According to Lewis, the dialogue over hiring Kaepernick fell apart soon thereafter.
Lewis had a celebrated 17-year professional football career with the Baltimore Ravens, taking them to two Super Bowl victories — the second one in his final NFL game. He is also the second linebacker to win the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award.
Kaepernick has become something of a martyr among the left. As reported by ESPN, a multitude of New York police officers organized a rally last month calling for Kaepernick to be given a job. Among the crowd was famed NYPD anti-corruption whistleblower, Frank Serpico. Nevertheless, no team has taken the quarterback up on his offer, and it is unclear if any will.