The Nation: Kaepernick Would Be 'Godsend' for Baltimore

Colin Kaepernick finally, finally has a glimmer of hope. Baltimore and Miami urgently need a quarterback and progressives in the media are jumping over each about what a great fit he'd be for either team. But, according to progressive Dave Zirin of The Nation, there's a "Trump apologist" standing in his way. It's simply amazing how much power the president of the United States and his friends suddenly have over personnel decisions in the NFL!

Zirin, as far left as they come, writes Baltimore's "quarterback situation is a shambles and Kaepernick could be a godsend for the organization. Yet the most powerful voice in Ravens-land against Colin Kaepernick has not been ownership, coaches, or fans. It has been Ray Lewis."

What's the rub with Lewis, the former Ravens' superstar, now retired? He refuses to kneel at the altar of social justice with Kaepernick, Zirin and their kind. He's an African-American who supports President Trump, too.

Last December, Lewis met with Donald Trump, Zirin wrote. Lewis "vouched for Trump’s commitment to the black community: 'Urban development and job creation are everything,' he said. 'What we believe with the Trump administration is if we can combine these two powers of coming together—forget black or white. Black or white is irrelevant. The bottom line is job creation and economic development in these urban areas to change the whole scheme of what our kids see.”

Lewis has been discussing Kaepernick with Ravens' owner Steve Bisciotti, and Zirin says, "it’s hard to imagine that he is saying anything helpful. Lewis has been on television and social media arguing, in a highly patronizing fashion, that Kaepernick needs to get away from those 'encouraging [him] to be caught up in some of this [anti-racist] nonsense,' saying: 'If you do nothing else, young man, get back on the football field.… And what you do off the field, don’t let too many people know.'”

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"None of this is that surprising," Zirin writes. "It is part and parcel of Lewis’s post-career makeover as the sanctimonious scold of the Black Lives Matter movement. He is selling himself as a modern-day Booker T. Washington, rejecting any kind of political resistance and preaching the gospel of economic opportunity as a cure for all racial ills."

Kaepernick would be "a terrific and much-needed presence in the city of Baltimore itself," Zirin believes.

Lewis could be the voice that moves the Ravens-crazy County part of this equation toward embracing Kaepernick. Instead, he’s choosing to enhance his own brand by building walls instead of bridges. Ray has learned well from Donald Trump: There’s more money to make and power to accrue in the business of division than in unity.

Lewis has remained silent as Trump has said and done nothing about economic development in “urban areas.” He has also remained quiet about Jeff Sessions’ neo-Confederate agenda of mass incarceration, the drug war and anti-affirmative action bombast.

Zirin must be seeing these things through mud-colored glasses. He and the Kaepernick apologists are completely incapable of admitting that their hero has alienated an incalculable number of Americans.

And speaking of "bombast," Zirin leaves us to conclude -- in his convoluted, progressive way of thinking -- that if bad people would just get out of Kaepernick's way, the polarizing star of the left could save any city that would be wise enough to be graced by his presence. And those people in his way magically extend all the way to 1600 Pennyslvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.


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Sports The Nation Sports Dave Zirin