*Ray Lewis said the Baltimore Ravens chose to pass on Colin Kaepernick because the quarterback’s girlfriend posted a “racist” tweet featuring Lewis and team owner Steve Bisciotti as Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio’s characters in “Django Unchained.”
— NESSA (@nessnitty) August 3, 2017
“We were going to close the deal to sign him,” Lewis said on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” Tuesday night. “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.”
As previously reported, the Aug. 2 tweet by Nessa Diab compared a picture of Lewis hugging Bisciotti to a “Django Unchained” scene where Jackson’s loyal house slave character lovingly embraces his cruel master, played by DiCaprio.
“His girl [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,” Lewis said. “Steve Bisciotti has said it himself: ‘How can you crucify Ray Lewis when Ray Lewis is the one calling for Colin Kaepernick?'”
Lewis was asked whether the Ravens would’ve signed Kaepernick if not for the tweet.
“Then he’s flying him to Baltimore,” Lewis said. “I am sitting with all three of them and we are all having a conversation about bringing Colin Kaepernick in.”
According to ESPN, Ravens coach John Harbaugh talked about possibly pursuing Kaepernick at the beginning of training camp, when quarterback Joe Flacco told the team of his back injury. Team president Dick Cass later indicated that the Ravens had direct contact with Kaepernick, who informed Baltimore that he still wanted to play.
Ravens officials acknowledged they had consulted with fans and former and current players, as well as sponsors, about Kaepernick.
“Pray for us,” Bisciotti said of the team when weighing its decision.
Kaepernick’s girlfriend then posted the picture of Bisciotti and Lewis three days later.