Every week, there seems to be a new twist in the Colin Kaepernick saga—and still, the quarterback remains unemployed.
The latest comes from former Baltimore Ravens star linebacker Ray Lewis, who won a pair of Super Bowls with the team, but himself had a career marred by controversy.
On Showtime’s Inside the NFL, Lewis alleged that Kaepernick’s chances of signing with the Ravens were all but extinguished when the quarterback’s girlfriend, Nessa Diab, tweeted what he claimed was a “racist gesture”—a tweet comparing Lewis and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to Samuel L. Jackson and Leonard DiCaprio’s characters in the movie Django Unchained.
— NESSA (@nessnitty) August 3, 2017
(As The Guardian notes, “In the film, Jackson plays a loyal slave to DiCaprio’s racist plantation owner.”) Diab directed the tweet at Lewis’ Twitter handle with a “Direct Hit” emoji, and it has since been retweeted over 6,000 times.
Lewis also alleges that he lobbied the Ravens to sign Kaepernick—but that the tweet derailed everything. “The decision makers were Steve Bisciotti and [general manager] Ozzie Newsome, and the only thing that went bad … was that image where she tried to make us racist individuals.” Kaepernick’s perceived silence in the matter was also taken as a slight, noted Lewis.
When former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, who was also on the panel, pressed Lewis on why no one had heard this side of the story before, Lewis responded, “Because everybody wanted to tell their own story about what me and [Skip and Shannon: Undisputed NFL analyst] Shannon [Sharpe] got into an argument about signing Colin, and he’s talking about police brutality.” (On Aug. 31, Sharpe got into a heated exchange with Lewis over why Kaepernick had not yet been signed.) Watch the clip Lewis was referring to below.
Watch Lewis’ comments on Showtime below.
Despite Lewis’ claims that Sharpe was off-topic, the subject of police brutality—one of the reasons Kaepernick cited for his national anthem protest last season—reared its ugly head again yesterday, as Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett accused the Las Vegas police of using excessive force on him following the Mayweather-McGregor fight on Aug. 26.