The return of the NFL season brings with it the return of the Showtime preview show, Inside the NFL. The season-opener features Ray Lewis discussing the Baltimore Ravens decision not to sign quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and it is certainly something.
The show is airing Tuesday night at 9 p.m. PT, and we should have some video tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a description a PR person sent out for the show.
Tonight’s season premiere is highlighted by Lewis disclosing the reason why Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti passed on a possible signing of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In a discussion that includes NFL Network Senior Writer Judy Battista, Lewis reveals how the Ravens were making plans to sign Kaepernick until a controversial tweet by Kaepernick’s girlfriend about Bisciotti and Lewis played a part in the possible deal falling through.
On August 2, Nessa, Colin Kaepernick’s girlfriend, tweeted the two pictures below. The latter picture is Samuel L. Jackson from his role in Django Unchained where he portrayed a house slave particularly loyal to the white owner.
It’s safe to say the Baltimore Ravens attempts to avoid a “distraction” by signing Colin Kaepernick will just result in more of a distraction. The Ravens were in need of a quarterback when Joe Flacco suffered a back injury. John Harbaugh said Kaepernick was an option to replace him. However, shortly after that, word got out that while Harbaugh and GM Ozzie Newsome were interested in pursuing Kaepernick, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was hesitant.
Bisciotti and team president Dick Cass later admitted they were speaking to fans and sponsors about the possibility of signing Kaepernick. Giants owner John Mara had previously expressed concern about the kind of fan mail he was getting about Kaepernick.
The problem with all of this is that Bisciotti the Ravens were willing to risk public backlash when they tried to whitewash Ray Rice’s domestic violence incident. Mara and the Giants were willing to stand by Josh Brown even after his multiple incidents of domestic violence. For both, they did not take action until it become public knowledge.
And then there’s Ray Lewis. He has spoken repeatedly about taking the flag out of his protest. He said Kaepernick should not talk about what he does off the field and just work on getting on the field. All this in spite of the fact that Kaepernick has been working out regularly awaiting an opportunity.
And now, we have Lewis trying throw blame on Nessa’s tweet a month after the fact. The whole thing is incredibly fishy, and is only going to create more headaches for Lewis and the Ravens. Bisciotti did not want to sign Colin Kaepernick, and now he has Ray Lewis apparently attempting to provide some kind of cover. This is not going away anytime soon.
Fooch's update: - Here is a transcript of the segment:
Judy Battista – “I’m startled that he has not been signed. I’ve been told ever since I’ve started covering the NFL that talent wins out. We’ve seen teams take chances on a lot of unsavory characters. The fact that this is what has tipped over and they can’t come to grips with signing a guy who has kneeled for the national anthem but you’ve sign guys that have enormous legal issues—and they’ve been embraced by teams and they’ve been embraced by fans—I find that curious.”
Ray Lewis – “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.“
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 (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 Kaeperkick speak to let me know that he wants to play football.’… And it never happens because that picture comes up the next day. “
Judy Battista – “So, if not for that… tweet, you think he would be a Baltimore Raven”
Ray Lewis – “Then he’s flying him to Baltimore. I am sitting with all three of them and we are all having a conversation about bringing Colin Kaepernick in.“