Before the Ravens give a second chance to a guy who shouldn’t need a second chance, they’re giving the fan base a chance to make it known how they will react, positively or negatively, to the news.
As noted last night, the Ravens didn’t publicly invite fan input when considering whether to keep Ray Lewis after murder charges became a guilty plea to obstruction of justice or whether to keep Ray Rice before everyone saw the graphic video of the knockout punch or whether to sign Donte’ Stallworth after he pleaded guilty to DUI vehicular manslaughter. Former Eagles president Joe Banner has noted on Twitter that, eight years ago, his team also didn’t do that when considering whether to sign convicted felon Mike Vick.
Vick, who admitted to fighting dogs and killing dogs, spent nearly two years in federal custody. The Eagles decided to give him a second chance without regard to what fan reaction would be, and without publicly discussing it in a way that would encourage fans to chime in. Instead, the Eagles did what they thought they should do from a football standpoint, ignoring the vocal minority or silent majority or whatever other faction or contingent would huff and puff and maybe blow their house down, or maybe not.
It would be easy to say that’s what the Ravens should do, but it’s too late for that. Their decision at this point necessarily will be a product of the anticipated net fan reaction and whether they believe the addition of Kaepernick justifies it. But when a few fans think they can influence football decisions by yelling loudly enough about the preferred outcome, that becomes a very bad precedent for any team.