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 updated Oct. 1, 2017: A fan sits behind a sign referring to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second half of the Washington team versus Baltimore Ravens preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on Aug. 10, 2017, in Baltimore. (Rob Carr/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

  • Good Article though Mr. Reed #WelcomeToVSB #AndShT lol

  • Mary Burrell

    Kaepernick is in Africa on his life journey and it appears to me he is unbothered by not being signed to an NFL team. I like Kaepernick he’s brave and he is trying to help young black kids learn their rights as citizens in this racist society where law enforcement is snuffing out the lives of young black folks on a daily basis. He was giving men who are just getting out of prison and giving them custom made suits from his closet to help them gain employment and be successful. Kaepernick is a wonderful humanitarian.


      You’re right Sister.

  • VeronicaMars

    If not Baltimore, then Miami.

    • kingpinenut

      Shoot he might as well go to Cuba then ;)

      • VeronicaMars

        Basically. But a salesperson from the Miami Dolphins called me last week about season tickets. I told him I only go the games when the Ravens are playing. I might actually show up to a game or two if Colin sported a Dolphins jersey.

        • Alessandro De Medici

          Lol, Miami sports teams always gotta hustle to get people to come out for events.

    • Val

      The Giants could use him. Eli is getting a little long in the tooth.

  • Janelle Doe

    Unrelated: Iwonder what led up to Dave Chapelle’s new 45 reflections d’y’all think he is going to be on SNL again?

    • conlakappa

      Isn’t he going to have a Netflix gig?

  • Tam
    • Darkchloe144

      Why, JJ, why?

    • LadySiriboe

      Only explanation I can come up with he is woosay must be THAT good.

      • Alessandro De Medici

        Maybe she put MSG in it?

      • cedriclathan

        It drained him of his essence.

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      White allies won the tournament…that’s going to be an awkward conversation with the gals at Jezebel.

      • Tam

        Hahahha. Oh to be a fly on the wall

    • Alessandro De Medici

      Who knew MSG plus a white woman’s box was all you needed before:

      Singing psalms of the white man’s benevolence.

      • Tam

        Reveritiligo will get you every time

    • cedriclathan

      Wow! What’s that movie with the painting that gets old but dude doesn’t? JJ looks like the painting.

      • Tam

        Dorian Gray. Lol

        • cedriclathan

          Yep! Thanks.

  • Valerie

    New post up, finally :-)

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      That post is too black for me. I literally have never noticed much less pondered the enunciational prowess of black luminaries.

      • Tam

        Since when?

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          That’s some high level blackness right there.

          Another example, is if I ask the question who has the worst edge up/hairline in professional sports, I could get multiple answers and a large day long debate, with photo evidence and memes.

          High level blackness

          • Tam

            Lol. That is how we do it best.

      • Valerie

        You are weird. I really think you are a troll lol

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          You know those speech patterns that well that you could argue the list and suggest people that were missed? Really?

          “That Phylicia Rashad is too high, and how come Chiwetel Ejiofor always gets overlooked?”

          High level blackness, indeed.

          • cedriclathan

            You’re supposed to pretend you know the difference. What’s wrong with you? That’s like when I get studio engineers in the theater as consultants for a live show. “Ahh, gimme ½ a db a 5K.” I’ll wave my hands over the console, not touch anything and ask, “How’s that?” Nobody can hear the siht. GTFOH!

      • cedriclathan
        • Tam

          You gon make it all sciency

          • cedriclathan

            LOL. C’mon. I just learned how to read these in class last weekend.

      • cedriclathan

        Besides, the lish is bullsiht without James Earl “the pearl” Jones. WTF?

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          Lol at the Pearl


    I have kinfolks in Baltimore. I have been to Baltimore before too. It has a lot of rowhouses and gorgeous architecture too in many locations. What Colin Kaepernick is doing is magnanimous. He has to make up his mind whether he wants to go into the Ravens or not. Yet, one thing is that his social cause for justice is bigger than football. He has spoken out while others have jealously complained about his actions. His inoffensive knell was to make known about the epidemic of police brutality in America (and the necessity to establish solutions). Also, the national anthem was created by a racist and slave owner. Plus, lyrics of the anthem were omitted from its current designation, because of its pro-slavery lyrics. Therefore, Kaepernick is fighting the good fight. The corporate heads of teams, who slander him as being unpatriotic or wrong, should be ashamed of themselves. He is not only talking. He has given one million dollars to help communities.

    He has advanced an education course on our civil liberties and exposing police injustice. He has traveled into Africa to help Africans in positive, humanitarian ways. Ray Lewis also incorrect to assume that he must increasingly speak out and do legitimate actions in private. Of course, he has the right to speak out in private and in public (like we all do). Kapernick seeks no egoism or unnecessary fanfare. He wants change in the society in which all of us desire. If Colin does come into Baltimore (which is an epicenter of so many courageous people fighting the good fight), then that’s his right. He doesn’t want a recrudescence of evil acts against black people. He desires justice. Colin Kaepernick is inspiring especially young people that working in social activism is sacrosanct and normal.

    Black Lives Matter.

  • grownandsexy2

    John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fist in protest in 1968 at the Olympics, were called “black skin storm troopers” and stripped of their medals. The Greensboro lunch counter sit-in – we were in the way of good white folks trying to eat lunch; when we marched, we were hosed and dogs unleased on us. If we take to the highway and hold up rush hour traffic, the police show up in riot gear cause the good white folks can’t get home in time for dinner,

    Apparently there is no proper way for POC to protest in the land of the free. Cries when Kaepernick chose to sit during the National Anthem of “he didn’t do it the right way”, or “there’s a better way.” Well, what way is that? It’s the height of white privilege to tell us how we should protest. Apparently, POC aren’t supposed to protest.

    • Mary Burrell

      Exactly good example black people demonstrating their blackness brings out the hate in the dominant culture.

  • Seymore Cases

    Most of the owners (save for the most redneck among them) don’t care all that much about Kaep’s stance. NBA owners are mostly wyte and most of the ticket buyers are wyte, but the culture of that sport and it’s fans means there’s little backlash if ‘Bron or someone decided to protest.

    The NFL is a wyte sport that’s predominately black. Rule changes have helped to prop up the QB position and offenses in general which tend to have a higher proportion of white athletes compared to the defensive side of the ball. As such, the face of the NFL (players and leadership) is much whiter than one would think given that 70%+ of the players are black. I’d also guess that the average football fan is quite a bit more conservative than the average hoops fan. Fan blacklash…yes blacklash, is the fear. If owners thought it wouldn’t cost them revenue or even give a slight bump in cash, they’d be actively recruiting Kaep.

    NFL players are their own worst enemies though. As a group, they’re too willing to acquiesce to the demands of 2520’s. This probably starts in middle school/high school since many of the coaches are wyte…probably more on average than with basketball. Players become accustomed to taking orders from wytes and aren’t as willing to push back on social and racial issues. Guaranteed money and being more disposable probably doesn’t help either.

  • Mary Burrell

    I made a mistake in my earlier post confusing Ray Lewis with Ray Rice. Ray Lewis is a murderer and a c00n Ray Rice is the dude who beat his wife on the elevator.


      We feel you Sister.

    • cedriclathan

      “They all look alike.”

    • Brother Mouzone

      Apparently, showing concern and support for the fair treatment of Black people is worse than these men’s crimes, as well as breaking a woman’s face, like this year’s Cincinnatti Bengals draft pick, Joe Mixon.

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