Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday that racist and homophobic tweets from fullback and defensive tackle Patrick Ricard were “unacceptable. I don’t care when it happens.”
Harbaugh said Ricard’s messages, the most recent of which were posted in 2013, would be addressed within the team. Asked if the second-year player is in danger of being cut, he said: “I don’t know anything right now. We haven’t made any decisions.”
Ricard apologized after Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, calling his past comments “inexcusable” and saying they do not reflect the person he is today.
“It’s unacceptable,” Harbaugh said in his first public comments on the matter. “He knows that. He’s said that. He told me that yesterday on the plane coming back, the first time I had a chance to talk to him about it. He’s distraught. But still, that has to be dealt with.”
He added that he’s not sure exactly what role he’ll play in navigating a potentially uncomfortable situation within the locker room.
“I think our players will be the ones to kind of guide the ship on that just a little bit and I’ll definitely be seeking their input,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see where it goes from there. It will be dealt with internally, for sure.”
News of Ricard’s tweets emerged just hours before the Ravens kicked off against the Chiefs. He was inactive for the game, but Harbaugh said that was a football decision, made before the news broke.
He acknowledged that teams now have to be aware of players’ social-media pasts.
“Very vigilant,” he said. “[Assistant general manager] Eric [DeCosta] could probably give you all the details of that as far as they do deep dives on social media. They do everything they can to uncover that stuff before the fact, before it comes out. I’m certain we didn’t have that. The first I heard of it was yesterday.”