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Ray Lewis to Colin Kaepernick: ‘Get back on the football field and let your play speak for itself’

Colin Kaepernick
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 27.
(Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

Ray Lewis wanted to clear a few things up. And he wanted to keep it simple.

But he might not have been all that successful.

During an appearance on FS1’s “Undisputed” on Monday, the former NFL great started receiving criticism for seeming to defend the Baltimore Ravens’ hesitation to sign former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a backup for the currently injured Joe Flacco.

Kaepernick, who started for the 49ers in their Super Bowl XLVII loss to the Ravens, has yet to find a job after opting out of his contract with San Francisco in March. Some feel he is being blackballed from the league after he refused to stand for the national anthem before games last season as a social protest.

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Lewis attempted to clarify his stance on the polarizing player by tweeting out a video of himself in a vehicle after leaving the studio. He may have had the best of intentions, but Lewis ended up more or less rambling about the topic for two-plus minutes before encouraging Kaepernick to keep his activism to himself and concentrate on football.

“The football field is our sanctuary. If you do nothing else, young man, get back on the football field and let your play speak for itself,” Lewis said, apparently forgetting that Kaepernick has yet to be given the opportunity to do just that. “And what you do off the field, don’t let too many people know, because they’re going to judge you anyway, no matter what you do, no matter if it’s good or bad, all right?”

Earlier in the video, Lewis stated that he prays for Kaepernick “more than you can ever imagine. Your name is in my Bible that God gives you the vision that you did.” The two-time defensive player of the year also said, “I applaud you for the things that you stood up for,” but added: “The battles you’re fighting, brother, people way before us [have] been fighting these for many, many, many years. And that’s why I take each and every one of these kids, and that’s why I take them away from their environments and give them something else to see in life. And that’s why I played the way I played.”

Those quotes might make little sense because they’ve been taken out of context, but check out the video — the quotes might not make any more sense in their original context. either.

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charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii


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