Despite the warm reception from Baltimore Ravens coaches and players, the team’s owner is saying no to Colin Kaepernick.
The 29-year-old former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been unemployed and blacklisted in the NFL after he took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in 2016.
Ravens players said they would happily accept Kaepernick in the locker room as long as he helped the team win. Even the Ravens coaching staff were willing to give the quarterback a chance.
The Ravens sorely need a backup quarterback behind the injured Joe Flacco. But ESPN reports that team owner Steve Bisciotti put the brakes on signing Kaepernick.
A poll of Ravens fans by the team’s front office showed the fans believed Kaepernick would hurt the team brand.
Kaepernick’s protests were blamed for the NFL’s sharp slide downward in ratings. Many fans said they turned the station when they saw Kaepernick taking a knee during the pregame.
On Wednesday, ESPN reported that Bisciotti said no to Kaepernick joining the team.
“I do not have an update on Colin Kaepernick,” head coach John Harbaugh told reporters. “I’ll frame that this way: there are other positions that we’re looking at too and I don’t have any updates on those either. I think they’re all in the same category.”
On Sunday, Bisciotti said the team may consider signing Kaepernick, but they were still weighing their options.
He made the statement after sources told ESPN Kaepernick would not demonstrate his personal views on social issues during NFL games.