Former National Football League (NFL) star Ray Lewis says that Colin Kaepernick’s girlfriend is the reason the controversial quarterback is not playing for his former team.
Lewis, a former Baltimore Ravens linebacker, claims a tweet from radio and television personality Nessa Diab ended Kaepernick’s chances at joining the franchise.
“We were talking about giving this kid an opportunity to get back in the National Football League,” Lewis said Tuesday on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL,” referencing a recent conversation he had with Ravens majority owner Steve Bisciotti.
“Then, his girl goes out and put out this racist gesture and doesn’t know we are in the back office about to try and get this guy signed,” he continued. “We were going to close the deal to sign him.”
“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 referring to a tweet Diab posted on Aug. 2, depicting a picture of him embracing Bisciotti from behind.
Diab’s post compares the image to a scene from “Django Unchained,” a movie featuring actors Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Jackson’s character embraces DiCaprio’s in the shot, with the latter performer portraying a brutal slave owner.
Kaepernick remains unsigned by a NFL team after playing as a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2016.
The professional athlete sparked national debate last year when he began refusing to stand for the National Anthem to protest the oppression of minorities in the U.S.
Critics have since accused Kaepernick of being unpatriotic and disrespecting America’s national values.
Supporters contend that the football player is instead advocating for social justice and deserves to play in the NFL while publicly expressing himself.