Three Non-Football Reasons Why Baltimore Would Be The Best City For Colin Kaepernick » VSB

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Three Non-Football Reasons Why Baltimore Would Be The Best City For Colin Kaepernick

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Five years after his Super Bowl loss to Joe Flacco and the Ravens, Colin Kaepernick is still better than at least a dozen QBs who already have jobs; guys so awful that nobody would’ve paid attention if they were on the sidelines smoking weed during the national anthem. We shouldn’t even be having this conversation because Kaepernick would have been signed weeks ago. Except racism.

But since we’re here — and since I was a student in Baltimore in the Ray Lewis era — here are three great, non-football reasons the Ravens should sign Kaep before the end of the day:

1. The Two Rays

Before he met with Donald Trump last year and before he made a habit of dropping biblical references in his color commentary, Ray Lewis was charged with stabbing two guys to death in Atlanta. And we all saw what Ray Rice did in that elevator — I spent my entire summer of 2014 on CNN talking about it. Lewis beat the murder rap and was deified by Ravens fans for the rest of his career. Rice never played another snap in the NFL, but some of the classier Baltimorons still rocked his jersey to games. 

If that’s the reception these guys got from Baltimore, I’m not here for any complaints about Kaepernick.

2. Lake Trout

Yes, it’s stereotypical to list greasy-ass fried fish as a reason a Black man should move to a city for a job. But Lake Trout joints are all over the place in Baltimore. That greasy-ass fried fish on two slices of white bread, plus fries and a half-and-half tastes good as shit and damn near got me through college. I struggle to think of a blacker thing than Kaep — afro in full splendor —  rolling up Park Heights or down Pennsylvania Avenue for a lake trout combo. And since he spent 2016 doing one Blackest Thing Ever after another, and being vilified for it, he gets to do this and y’all don’t get to say a damn thing.

3. Baltimore is Black as fuck

Polling firm J.D. Power yesterday released a survey of 9,200 obviously white people about their sports-watching habits in 2016. While ESPN (my former employer) ran with the headline that protests were the biggest reason people turned off football last year, the Washington Post debunked that thoroughly. Kaepernick’s presence in Baltimore would challenge the narrative that anthem protests are turning off football fans. This is, after all, where youth clashed with police over Freddie Gray’s death. It’s the same town that elected a prosecutor who took charged all six officers involved in the incident; the same town where jurors once acquitted a teenager accused in the death of an officer even though the kid had been literally been pulled out of the car as it was on top of the police cruiser because the jurors didn’t trust cops’ testimony.

It’s the same town where the US Department of Justice concluded that the police department “engages in a pattern or practice of: (1) making unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests; (2) using enforcement strategies that produce severe and unjustified disparities in the rates of stops, searches and arrests of African Americans; (3) using excessive force; and (4) retaliating against people engaging in constitutionally-protected expression.”

Baltimore is not a town where a guy like Kaepernick will hear a lot of boos for protesting against police violence (at least not the same way he would in Kansas City or Pittsburgh) because Baltimoreans — 63 percent of whom are black — are too familiar with police misconduct. Ravens fans, at least a big chunk of them, would have no problem with Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem, even if he did it while eating a greasy-ass fish sandwich.

Keith Reed

Keith Reed is a Pittsburgh-born writer and editor who's worked for ESPN Mag and The Boston Globe

  • Alessandro De Medici

    True, but racism doesn’t solely explain why Kaepernick doesn’t have a job. He wasn’t the only one to take a knee last season, and he’s also not the only one to have taken a strong political stance…everyone else who did something politically significant, has a job already in the NFL.

    The angle you have to look at it from is, how much risk would are organization be willing to take to bring Colin on, and which team should be most willing to take it?

    • Janelle Doe

      He wasn’t the only one – but wasn’t he the most vocal and sort of the face of the ‘scandal’?

      • Alessandro De Medici

        That’s what I referring to when I brought up the “risks” associated with bringing him on.

        • YeaSoh

          What exactly is the risk? Backlash?

          • Alessandro De Medici
            • YeaSoh

              The problem with that article is that I don’t see where it attributed the low ratings to people not watching because they detested what he was doing or supported it. The drop in ratings could it self reflect a protest in support of Colin.

              • Alessandro De Medici

                But once again, we return back to the issue of risk. If you had to put your money down, where would you put your money on who was stopping to watch those games? Either way you look at it, you’re taking a bet.

                • YeaSoh

                  But the report says the league is down as a whole. It doesn’t mention any particular team at a deficit. So everyone is losing anyway. If anything, the issue is that too much of the press around the league is around negative stuff.. My thought is the league believes by keeping Colin out the league they can stare the conversation later on back to what they want – the game. However, my hope is that people continue to lose interest. Not to mention the growing talk around brain injuries. The NFL needs to step up their PR and getting Colin on a team is a step in the right direction.

                  • Alessandro De Medici

                    For me, I don’t care much for the NFL for all the reasons you mentioned, but that’s not the point I’m making. The fact is that from the 2015 season to the 2016 season, there was a serious and unprecedented drop in ratings, and the only significant change in the season was the protest, which Colin Kaepernick was the face of.

                    So anyone who brings him on, has to deal with the risk that history might repeat itself and that what happened last year, might be concentrated in their own team or market.

                    • YeaSoh

                      Putting Colin at the center of the decline is a bit wreckless.

                    • MsSula

                      And false.

                    • Alessandro De Medici

                      But that’s not the point I’m making.

                      There’s only a risk, when uncertainty is involved.

                    • YeaSoh

                      I’m bringing it up because you are referencing the decline in viewers as an indicator of risk and you’re saying the risk comes from his protesting but he’s not the sole cause (I’d argue he’s a very small portion) of the decline so the risk actually isn’t as gr at as you’re making it out to be.

                    • Alessandro De Medici

                      What other things do you think led to a sharp decline in ratings at the start of the season?

                    • YeaSoh

                      Well, the election. I work in retail marketing and even we had to shift our media spend because of the way the election was taking over everything media related. There’s the backlash the sport is getting on every level in how it effects the brain. I just saw a report where 99% of players were found affected by brain trauma. Parents are pulling their kids left and right. There’s the just plain old it’s getting stale. There’s no Lebron James of football. Brady is whack. People are just not that into it across the board.

                      Which brings me to my question. If this Colin mess is such a big deal then why has college football also been on the decline?

                    • Alessandro De Medici

                      There’s definitely been a decline due to the injuries overtime. But once again, the issue was there was a relatively sharp decline at the beginning of the season between that of 2015 and 2016 (It died down towards the end). All the factors you mentioned though, don’t explain a sharp change.

                      I do think the election played a big role though, but that is where Colin plays a role, not as a player persey, but as a proxy for political issues that were heightened by the election.

                    • YeaSoh

                      Ok

    • Rastaman

      Plus, he was the only QB. QBs are considered the public face of NFL teams. You can walk past most NFL players and never know who they are but most starting QBs are instantly recognizable to many football fans.

  • Uncle Remus

    I am not a football guy. I grew up in metro-Atlanta and only know the sour taste of Falcons fandom futility (though, for some reason, I cannot ever seem to give up on the Hawks. It is entirely irrational, but I still imagine a path to the championship every single year). Anyway, I will start to rock Ravens gear if he goes to Baltimore. Also, it will allow me to annoy my friends and neighbors in DC.

    • Rastaman

      If they didn’t upchuck last year in the 2nd half of the SB they may have been able to wash that sour taste out of their fandom but I am guessing now that taste is permanent.

  • Valerie

    I’ll see myself out on this topic. I have learned that people have a hive mind mentality to him so me not agreeing will not go over well. I don’t feel like arguing. I’ve expressed my opinions and reasons in the past and they still stand.

    Have a good day everyone.

    • Michelle is my First Lady

      Valerie, your opinions are just as valuable as anyone else’s opinion. You should stay.

    • Uncle Remus

      Give your thoughts, but throw in a couple of your bolded disclaimers.

      • Michelle is my First Lady

        I wasn’t around for what happened with Valerie, but why should she have to use a disclaimer? She should be free to say what she wants without walking on eggshells. I thought VSB was a safe space.

        • Uncle Remus

          I agree. I meant it as a joke and an encouragement to stay.

          • Michelle is my First Lady

            Ok! Gotcha!

        • for certain folks it is. that’s why i stay in the corner lol.

          i missed the bruhaha V was involved with though.

          • Alessandro De Medici

            What bruhaha was it?

            • Tam

              I missed it but she has previously explained that persons took her comment the wrong way. So she has been adding disclaimers, often along the line of her experience. I hadn’t realised we had gotten hive minded here until I asked yesterday and the answer more often than not was yes.

              • Brooklyn_Bruin

                Ever since the GMG money…
                *starts unfounded rumor*

                • MsSula

                  You shid starter! Loll.

              • Alessandro De Medici

                Oh, well, Trump is president…

                • kingpinenut

                  Another day on the guiding light

                  • grownandsexy2

                    Days of our Lives

                • Tam

                  Me personally, depends on who makes a statement I will ask for clarity ( if I don’t quite understand) if not I pretend I didn’t see.

              • grownandsexy2

                It happened to me once here (comment taken the wrong way) and all hayle broke loose. I thought about attempting to explain/clarify, but sometimes it only makes it worse, made my apologies and moved on.

              • LMNOP

                I don’t think we’re that hive minded.

                • Tam

                  That’s what I thought but many persons seem to think we are.

                  • LMNOP

                    Well we don’t have to agree just because some people said it. That would be hive minded lol.

                    • Tam

                      Lol. But if we are honest there are certain topics that persons close ranks on.

              • siante

                yeah, there’s definitely a tad of a hive mentality at times. All I said was that I don’t wish death to trump supporters & I disagreed with one of Damon’s posts (some months back) & I got called everything but a child of God! lol, it was crazy.

                • Tam

                  Certain thoughts I keep to myself. I realise on this forum you can not read the inflections and a lot is left up to the receiver/reader. Still, I guess at the end of the day we all exist in our bubbles.

                  • siante

                    it’s fine to exist in your own bubble, I guess we all do to some extent, but the vehemence I’ve been seeing over dissenting views is kinda new- I blame millennials lol.

                    • Tam

                      Of course. They are the convenient scape goats

              • Monica Harris

                I’ve been on here for two years and it’s been hive minded for all of the time I’ve been here. I can’t imagine it was ever different. Fortunately, I agree with the hive most of the time.

            • MsSula

              I missed it too. But then again, I am not the most regular of commentors.

          • Michelle is my First Lady

            Yeah, I missed it too.

          • Brother Mouzone

            Lol..if you noticed, nobody said, “naw HHH, go ahead and speak yo mind”. STAY IN THAT CORNER..lol.

            • Michelle is my First Lady

              HHH is always welcome to speak his mind, tho. That is the same for everyone else on here.

            • Monica Harris

              I feel like hhh is an intentional antagonist though

        • grownandsexy2

          “should” being the operative word but I wasn’t around for the bruhaha

        • Brother Mouzone

          It USED to be a safe space when I first came here. The change started at the top. The author used to write posts that called men and women out on their BS pretty evenly. At some point it became slanted one way (more profitable? Popular? To move up in the blogging world?) and to say anything that went against the new mob that started taking over, was considered anarchy. This made a lot of the “men” here scared to check bs when it needed to be checked, and a lot of them just became lap dogs for the new,slanted, one way check system. A lot of hollering hit dogs won’t like what I said but like I said…Im NEVA scurd.. Was it “safe” for me to say that here?…lol.

          • Michelle is my First Lady

            I’m not sure when it started — I’ve only started commenting on here for a few years now. Having different opinions are good until the insults start. I saw a lot of that happen during the Meridian days. That’s not cool.

            • Brother Mouzone

              None of what I said applies to you. I’ve read your comments, you don’t have that mentality.

              • Michelle is my First Lady

                Never said it applied to me. I simply spoke to your comment about “angle” and this place being a safe space

            • Brother Mouzone

              I would think so too.

          • siante

            It all depends on how much you depend on the approval of others I suppose because you might get called a troll or even blocked by people who you offend, but you can most certainly speak your mind! lol.

    • Alessandro De Medici

      Speak your speech though.

    • BrothasKeeper

      Stand firm in your beliefs, Val. You’re family. Short, sweet, crazy family

      • miss t-lee

        Agreed!

    • miss t-lee

      We’ve had our debates over the subject, but please don’t think your opinion is invalid.

    • Junegirl627

      We free black and brown folk here. Say what’s on your mind.

      • grownandsexy2

        lol @ free, black and brown

      • Brother Mouzone

        You sure about that?

        • Junegirl627

          yes

    • Kas

      Am I the only person who enjoys battling against the entire comment section? Speak yo speech.

      • Brother Mouzone

        You are not alone. I’m neva scurd.

      • Tam

        You just like to stir shid! How are you doing my dear?

        • Kas

          I’m good. Tapering down my shenanigans in the comment section.

          • Tam

            Aww how come? I kinda miss that about you. But glad to know you are good

      • LMNOP

        I remember the day you said bananas were the best fruit, just to battle the entire comment section.

        • Kas

          Guilty

        • Kas

          Funny because everyone knows it’s cucumbers.

    • Alessandro De Medici

      If it makes you feel better, I don’t mind sharing my own views on why I didn’t support what Colin K was doing. I think he martyred himself because he had pretty weak political skills, and like a lot of people today, don’t have much respect for the strategic minds behind the political movements during the civil rights movement. For a lot of them, the gesture, or the attempt at a conversation is good enough.

      • Valerie

        I agree with you Alessandro. I never hopped on the bandwagon. I did post my opinions above.

      • Rastaman

        I would say don’t make perfection the enemy of good.
        CK may not be the best messenger for the cause but he used his status for something much bigger than himself. As a half black man raised by white adopted parents and economically well off he was probably someone least expected to participate in a protest against injustice against black people in this country. As we have seen he had much to lose and not much to gain. He more than most could claim that what was happening was not his concern.
        The man in my mind displayed a level of consciousness that is unparalleled from black pro athletes in this day and age. We don’t have to all be all in on the message but at least acknowledge his courage.
        I for one took it as an example of how every individual can contribute something to the fight against injustice.

        • Monica Harris

          Agreed. I don’t think even he knew what was gonna happen, but I’m proud of him for standing up for what he believes in. I admire most people who stand up for their beliefs.

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      That Colin is grandstanding?
      Or not voting?

      Agree with the latter, not the former.

  • Mr. Quojo

    Stokos!

  • VeronicaMars

    The only issue I have with number 3 is that even though B-More is black as f, the people that are angry don’t live in Baltimore. They live in the county, and outside the county. They are from those other wack behind places so they don’t see/care about police conduct. I went to Towson, and work for a major university based in B-more (even though I live in FL), and people on my timeline aren’t happy. They don’t want him there. They don’t care about police misconduct because it’s not happening to their children. So even though Baltimore is black as f, the fans aren’t.

    • So even though Baltimore is black as f, the fans aren’t.

      #MadTruthYo
      and it’s a trend that plays out on almost all sports teams…as many black folks that are Giants fans, the majority of paying customers are ypeepole and are like:

      http://i.imgur.com/S8rVo3b.gif

      • Sigma_Since 93

        This rationalization and trying to make changes is what got the Hawks GM fired.

        • Aintnuthinwrongwitcornbread

          Black Folk make it popular, thus white folk want a piece of it. But that piece can’t be too black since it’s the white folk with the money.

    • kingpinenut

      So much truth spoken here.

      Most of the ravens fans is white anyhow

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Ravens fans in the stands anyway. NFL ticket prices let alone season passes are bananas! My surround sound, hi – def tv, snacks, lavations, and heat keep my behind parked at home.

        • kingpinenut

          I dont go to ravens or orioles games out of principle no how.

          Edit: Those stadiums were built with funds that should have gone to public school education in baltimore city.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Understood. I’m a huge Steeler fan but the with the cost of a single ticket, parking, and food, I could goto 10 Pirates games.

            • kingpinenut

              My man!! Steelers from the 70s is my life!

              • grownandsexy2

                Franco Harris

                • kingpinenut

                  Lynn Swann

                  • grownandsexy2

                    Yeah, Lynn Swann. He was fine. lol. I met and took a picture with Franco and did a “fun run” with him. (2 miles). I was sooo out of shape. Had to roll out of bed next morning.

                    • kingpinenut

                      Lmabboooo

                      Let me get my mind outnthe gutttaahhhhhh!!!

                    • grownandsexy2

                      Lololol. Nah, it wasn’t what you think.

        • Junegirl627

          Word i’m have a 55 inch 4k TV and surround sound and my sofa has memory foam seats and it all coast less than 2 football tickets

        • Hammster

          I’d never go to an NFL game up North. I’m not paying top dollar to freeze my @$$ off.

          • Epsilonicus

            I did a Ravens – Browns game the day after Christmas in Cleveland. I left halfway through the 3rd quarter. The snow and cold was too much.

      • Epsilonicus

        Lemme nuance that.

        Most of the fans buying tickets are white

        • kingpinenut

          *daps*

          Yo we need to grab some coffee at Dovecote

          • Epsilonicus

            Lemme know when you are in town

            • kingpinenut

              Ill be there sunday for brunch.

              That spot is black magic of the highest order!

              • grownandsexy2

                I’m making note of these spots. Dovecote, eh?

                • kingpinenut

                  Dovecote is *the* spot

                • Epsilonicus

                  Add Terra Cafe and Land of Kush to your list.

                  • grownandsexy2

                    Thanks. Imma check them out.

              • lunanoire

                I LOVE this place!!!

                • kingpinenut

                  If you see a man of godlocks…hollllaaaa!

      • VeronicaMars

        Oh, and I’ll be there next week!

        • kingpinenut

          2501 madison ave is the place to be.

          I usually chill there.

          It is like pilgrimage

        • kingpinenut

          2501 Madison Ave is the palace to be – especially on the weekends.

          Like pilgrimage it’s so good

    • BmoreLikeLA

      True, that’s what I was thinking. The football fans aren’t coming from the city…they’re traveling from Timonium. They’re the same ones who started the riots during a peaceful march, the same riot that allowed Devin Allen to get his iconic photo. The city, we’d love him. I’d be so hyped if I saw Kaep out at a bar. But those YTs going to the games, they’d be big mad. Although I’m here for that too lol

    • The FunkyFunky Child

      The Patriots have many black fans but in the most income unequal region in the United States and the highest ticket prices in the country + being 20+ miles from both Providence and Boston, with little to no public transit equals. No black people ever at Gillette. Including myself-way too expensive (literally have never been able to afford) and totally inconvenient.

      …Problem is this is every sports team everywhere. There is an article that estimates every NBA teams projected fan demographics. There were only 3 teams whose fan base was less than 25% black (OKC, Portland and Utah) And when you contrast that to the actual fans in the arena….

      The Ravens easilyyy have one of the blackest fan bases in the country up there with the Falcons, Steelers, (which is a funny one) Redskins, and Raiders.

  • miss t-lee

    Lake trout? I learn something new every day.
    If they can sign an arena league QB as a backup, why not Kaep? The bullsh*t is extra thick here.

    And Ray Lewis’ stabby azz commentary definitely isn’t needed.

    • BrothasKeeper

      “Stabby azz” just made me choke!????????

      • miss t-lee

        HEE HEE

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Didn’t he also Mike and Ike Chilli back in the day too???

    • Epsilonicus

      It is neither from a lake nor is it a trout lol

      • miss t-lee

        The plot thickens!
        Farm raised? What actually is it?

        • Epsilonicus

          Its whiting. But the way it’s seasoned makes it delicious

          • miss t-lee

            Ahhhh. ok.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        So your up I see lol!

        • Epsilonicus

          Bruh, the baby ain’t home yet but the 2 year old ain’t helping though lol

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Young J’s letting y’all know who runs thangs! lol

          • miss t-lee

            Wait…a new addition?

            • Epsilonicus

              Yeah she came a little early but momma and baby are doing really well

              • miss t-lee

                awwww. Congratulations!

              • Michelle is my First Lady

                Congrats Eps

              • congrats

                *salutes you from his seat at Bo Brooks on the water*

              • Kas

                Congrats

              • grownandsexy2

                Congrats!

              • MsSula

                Awwww!!! Congrats!! You now need a picket fence and a dog (if you don’t already. :))

                • Epsilonicus

                  I like a more natural stain lol

                  I aint getting a dog until my oldest can take care of it lol

              • Brooklyn_Bruin

                But how you doing though? Mothers and children get way too much shine during these events.

                • Epsilonicus

                  I’m a lot better now. A whole lot better. This is hard when you ashtray have a child and you are trying to stay as close to normal as possible

                • LMNOP

                  Yeah I wonder why that is lol

                  • Brooklyn_Bruin

                    Mother child industrial complex.
                    They’re the people behind

                    WOMEN and children first.

                    In my newsletter….

                    • LMNOP

                      Lol. Don’t let the babies off the hook though, those diabolical little babies.

          • Tam

            Congrats Eps

          • YeaSoh

            Congratulations!!

          • LMNOP

            Aw, congratulations!!!

      • Professor

        Any Wire reference is welcome by me!

        • Epsilonicus

          Haha Haha yup!

          • Professor

            In fact when I saw that listed as a reason that exact line popped up in my head.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    Lake Trout may not be appealing to Kappanick since he’s gone Vegan. Although, he could use the locations as meet up spots for his activism.

  • Epsilonicus

    As a Baltimorean, I’m glad this was brought up on VSB.

    He should also come here because.he donates money to several groups in Baltinore. Also over the last two weeks the bodycams caught police planting drugs on people. We need the boost from his activism

    • Sigma_Since 93

      So how do you think the body cam situation effects Marilyn Mosby?

      • Epsilonicus

        She is loved in the city by Black folks and hated by White folks.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          Love is one thing but who has the power? Does the Black love have the ability to keep her in office? I thought her husband tried to run for mayor? What happened with that?

          • kingpinenut

            White folk in Annapolis, MD run Baltimore yo

          • Epsilonicus

            She can stay in as long as people turn out to vote. Her husband ran but he wasnt as well known as Pugh. Plus he couldn’t raise the money

    • VeronicaMars

      His organization would work well in Baltimore!

  • grownandsexy2

    I wish I had known about Lake Trout as I rolled through Bmore this past weekend. I’m always down for some greasy a$$ fried fish.

    • Epsilonicus

      I know the good spots

      • grownandsexy2

        Name them Eps and I’ll come thru.

    • BrothasKeeper

      Greasy áss fried fish, IMO, is more American than apple pie.

  • BM, Superman

    Ads are becoming smart as s*it. First time one properly mirrored my reaction to a piece: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1b98215850d7822a9a0ea05fe144dd438587867b8c5c8ecb4a65d3764200d9ef.png

    • Tam

      Why don’t you post a screenshot of the other types of ads you get.

    • Aintnuthinwrongwitcornbread

      No lie, I looked at a map of Chile near where my wife is from. IG then has a real estate in Chile ad pop up.

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