According to Evan Grossman of the New York Daily News, the Baltimore Ravens “did not sign Colin Kaepernick last year because a high-ranking member of the military raised concerns about bringing the polarizing QB to Baltimore“.
Fair notice, the story originated with TMZ, so grade it accordingly — But, if it’s to be believed, a “high ranking military official” cautioned Baltimore coach John Harbaugh against signing controversial quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Now, the details seem to indicate that this “military official” was a friend of Harbaugh’s and not acting in any official capacity. In that case, this is all legal and above board. However, we know the Ravens received $884,500 from the Department of Defense between 2011-13, so there is an existing relationship the team might not want to jeopardize.
Still, even if there was no impropriety in this instance, the NFL’s mistreatment of Kaepernick is shocking. The league’s avoiding a productive player because he protested institutional racism, but they were still completely willing to work with accused rapists, convicted felons, spousal abusers and at least one guy who “served time in a federal prison for his role in a dogfighting ring” (Philly.com).
To put it in context: According to a Federal Indictment, Michael Vick spent part of April, 2007 executing “approximately 8 dogs that did not perform well in ‘testing’ sessions … by various methods, including hanging, drowning, and slamming at least one dog’s body to the ground”. But he never kneeled during the national anthem, so he gets to sign a $100 million contract with the Eagles.
In the words of President Trump: “Sad.”
[Photo via Flickr user Keith Allison]