BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Ravens have a big decision to make this week, and it’s not about who will start their next game.
On Saturday night, homophobic and racist tweets posted by Ravens defensive lineman/fullback Patrick Ricard in 2011 resurfaced, shocking many fans. Ricard himself had forgotten about the tweets, which he posted when he was 16 years old.
But sitting in his hotel room Saturday night in Kansas City, he saw his Twitter mentions “blowing up,” and he knew was reminded of the language he used as a teen. “I want to sincerely apologize for my inappropriate and unacceptable tweets,” Ricard said to reporters. “I was a 16-year-old kid in high school who clearly made bad choices. Those words do not reflect who I am today.”
Ricard said Sunday he didn’t want his tweets to be a distraction to the team. When asked by a reporter if he thought the social media posts would be a problem, he said he tweets so often that he didn’t remember. “It’s still not acceptable, it’s still not appropriate,” he said.
Ricard was inactive during Sunday’s game, but Coach John Harbaugh said he was inactive regardless of the old tweets. Now the team must decide if he should be further punished as they press on for a potential postseason run.
“It’s unacceptable. He knows that. He’s said that. He told me that yesterday on the plane coming back, the first time I had a chance to talk to him about it. He’s distraught. But still, that has to be dealt with,” Harbaugh told reporters Monday. “I think our players will be the ones to kind of guide the ship on that just a little bit and I’ll definitely be seeking their input. We’ll see where it goes from there. It will be dealt with internally, for sure.”
The tweets from 2011 and 2012 used the n-word and an anti-gay slur numerous times, but were recently deleted. Still, Twitter users grabbed screen shots of them before they were deleted and shared them online.
In one tweet, Ricard said “my phone spins like a [expletive] at a disco.”
He then replies to the tweet in 2012, using the n-word several times toward another Twitter user.
“If your Twitter picture is of yourself flexing in the mirror, chances are your (sic) a [expletive],” Ricard tweeted in another homophobic rant in 2011.
Ricard isn’t the only player to apologize for old posts this week, Oklahoma quarterback, Kyler Murray apologized for anti-gay tweets.
Comedian Kevin Hart bowed out of hosing the Oscars after old homophobic tweets resurfaced.
Should tweets from someone’s past affect them now? On Twitter, some defended Ricard, while others said there should be repercussions.
What do you think about his tweets? How should the Ravens respond?