With just 36 hours remaining before the start of the 2017-18 NFL season, Colin Kaepernick is still not on an NFL roster, and it’s lending a lot of credence to the theory that the former 49ers quarterback is being blackballed by NFL owners as a result of the strong stance he took last season when he kneeled during the national anthem before games as a sign of protest.
There are some NFL fans who will try to argue that Kaepernick simply isn’t good enough to be an NFL QB right now, which is why he was unable to find a team willing to sign him this summer. But with QBs like Scott Tolzien and Tom Savage scheduled to start Week 1 of the new season, many others are under the impression that NFL owners are actively working to keep Kaepernick out of the league at this point.
Ray Lewis added a new wrinkle to the ongoing Kaepernick saga on Tuesday night during an appearance on Showtime’s Inside the NFL. On the show, Lewis claimed that the Ravens and their owner Steve Bisciotti were all ready to ink Kaepernick to a deal in early August to be their backup quarterback for Joe Flacco. However, shortly before the deal went down, Kaepernick’s girlfriend Nessa Diab sent out a tweet comparing Bisciotti and Lewis to Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio’s characters in the movie Django Unchained.
And according to Lewis, that tweet ended any chance Kaepernick had of signing with Baltimore.
"We were going to close the deal to sign him," Lewis said. "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."
Lewis was tagged in the tweet that was sent out. On Inside the NFL, he criticized Nessa for sending it out in the first place.
"His girl 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," he said. "Steve Bisciotti has said it himself: 'How can you crucify Ray Lewis when Ray Lewis is the one calling for Colin Kaepernick?'"
Lewis ended the segment on Kaepernick by saying that he believes he would be playing with the Ravens right now if not for the tweet in question.
Nessa didn’t directly respond to what Lewis had to say about her or Kaepernick on Inside the NFL. But she did retweet this tweet Deadspin sent out.
She also responded to a string of tweets sent out by The Nation editor Dave Zirin.
Many NFL fans chimed in on Lewis’ most recent claims about Kaepernick, too, with the majority of them questioning his take on the quarterback's current situation.
Lewis’ comments came just hours after Fox Sports commentator Jason Whitlock came under fire for a controversial segment that involved him using a white man to impersonate Kaepernick. Kaepernick has not directly responded to Lewis or Whitlock as of Wednesday morning.