Military official cautioned Ravens about signing Kaepernick, TMZ report says
By The Baltimore Sun
Mar 05, 2018 at 12:55 PM
Tim Clark, founder of Standing 4 Kaepernick, talks about the protest to support Colin Kaepernick before the Ravens game. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
The Ravens talked with a “high-ranking” military official when the team was deciding whether or not to sign free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, according to a TMZ report. The report says the official told the team he was not a fan of Kaepernick.
The Ravens had no comment on the TMZ report when contacted by The Baltimore Sun.
Owner Steve Bisciotti and coach John Harbaugh have previously said that they consulted with a number of people before making a decision on Kaepernick. They have said they listened to fans, current Ravens and former Ravens, and considered when quarterback Joe Flacco would return from his back injury in deciding whether or not to sign the free agent.
The report says Harbaugh talked with a friend who is a military official and the official said to consider if Kaepernick’s “national anthem demonstration fell in line with the team's core values.” TMZ also said the official did not tell the Ravens to “outright” not sign Kaepernick.
Former Ravens linebacker and new Hall of Famer Ray Lewis said in September on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” that an unflattering tweet posted on Aug. 2 from the girlfriend of Kaepernick was behind the Ravens’ decision to not sign the quarterback.
The post by radio host Nessa Diab compared Bisciotti and Lewis to characters from "Django Unchained": Leonardo DiCaprio's cruel plantation owner and Samuel L. Jackson's loyal house slave, respectively.
“I have been fighting for this kid behind the table like nobody has,” Lewis said on “Inside the NFL” on Sept. 2. “I’ve never been against Colin Kaepernick. But I am against the way he’s done it.
“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?’
“When they [the Ravens] called me, it was to say, ‘Yes,’ or, ‘No.’ … We were going to close the deal to sign him. … 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.”