Kansas City, Mo. — Ravens fullback-defensive lineman Patrick Ricard on Sunday apologized for racist and homophobic tweets he sent over five years ago.
The messages resurfaced Saturday night, just hours before the Ravens’ 27-24 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I want to sincerely apologize for my inappropriate and unacceptable tweets,” Ricard, who is white, said in an interview that a team official ended after three follow-up questions. “I was a 16-year-old kid in high school who clearly made bad choices. Those words do not reflect who I am today."
In a statement, the team called the tweets “totally unacceptable.” The Ravens said they have addressed the messages with Ricard, who said he did not discuss them with teammates before the game.
“I don’t want to distract the team in any way, just have those guys come out here and play,” he said. “I’m going to talk to them most likely the next time we’re in the building.”
The tweets have been deleted. But other users captured some of his insensitive language, which included at least six uses of a racist epithet. " 'My phone spins like a [expletive] at a disco'- me!" he wrote in 2011.
Other times, he used a homophobic slur. "I don't even want to see that [expletive] wearing a patriots uniform," he wrote in 2013.
“It happened such a long time ago, six or seven years ago,” Ricard said. “I tweet a lot and I kind of don’t remember what I tweeted. It’s still not acceptable. It’s still inappropriate. I really am sincerely sorry that I did that.”
The incident is the latest instance of demeaning messages resurfacing on athletes’ social media platforms. In July, Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader, an Old Mill graduate and former Orioles draft pick, apologized after a set of tweets using racist, homophobic and sexist language were uncovered during the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Early Sunday morning, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray also expressed regret for homophobic tweets he made years ago, which came to light hours after he won the Heisman Trophy.