Another case of social media discovering old tweets laden with slurs`quietly hit the NFL on Sunday, this time coming from Baltimore Ravens fullback/defensive lineman Patrick Ricard.
A few hours before the Ravens’ overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, tweets from Ricard’s high-school days featuring a litany of racist and homphobic slurs were dredged up. The Ravens and Ricard, an undrafted free agent out of Maine in 2017, were quick to denounce Ricard’s words and apologize.
Ravens and FB/DL Patrick Ricard condemn old tweets
The Ravens released a brief statement before the game saying that Ricard would address the tweets later:
“The tweets are totally unacceptable, and we have addressed the matter with Pat,” the team’s statement said. “We expect he’ll have something to say later today after the game.”
Ricard was inactive for the game, but that likely was for football reasons rather than due to the tweets. Ricard had been inactive the prior week as well.
Following the game, Ricard apologized for the tweets in a statement released through Twitter, naturally.
Of course, Ricard might have made his actual thoughts clear when he liked a tweet a day later lamenting the culture that had led to this situation, as well as homophobia and culturally appropriative costumes.
What was not certain in the wake of Ricard’s tweets coming to light was if it would put Ricard’s roster spot in jeopardy. Ravens coach John Harbaugh was reportedly noncommittal when asked about the idea, calling it an internal matter.
Ravens players call Ricard a ‘brother’ and ‘amazing guy’
Ricard’s apologies were apparently greeted warmly in the Ravens’ locker room, as the 24-year-old told reporters Wednesday that he had been heartened by his teammates’ support, according to the Baltimore Sun.
A few of Ricard’s teammates backed up that account, with one calling the tweets “unfortunate,” but saying they had to stand by him.
Via the Sun:
“I was shocked honestly,” nose tackle Michael Pierce said of his reaction to reading the tweets. “But Pat’s family, we actually went to dinner last Monday. So I never would have expected it. That’s not the guy I know. It’s unfortunate he said it, but he’s still a brother to me and a brother to us on this team. So we’re going to stand behind him, and that’s something we just never expected.”
Another player to stick up for Ricard was offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor:
“Now there’s no place for that, saying the things that he did,” Eluemunor said. “But he gave the team a heartfelt apology, saying he’s not that guy anymore, and we know he’s not that guy because we know him. So you would never have expected Pat to say things like that. Back then, he was a different person. But it doesn’t change my opinion of him. Pat’s an amazing guy, and I still love him.”
No punishment has been announced for Ricard so far.
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