KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ravens fullback and defensive lineman Patrick Ricard apologized on Sunday for racist and homophobic tweets made six years ago, when he was “a 16-year-old kid in high school who clearly made bad choices.”
The deleted tweets from 2011 and 2012 surfaced late Saturday night, and Ricard was a healthy scratch against the Chiefs after appearing in 10 games and playing both sides of the ball this season.
The Ravens issued a statement condemning the comments Sunday, calling them “totally unacceptable.” The team also said that “we have addressed the matter with Pat,” and would have additional comment later.
Ricard said he’d not had a chance to talk to his teammates or explain the tweets.
“You know, today’s game day. I want those guys to be (focused),” he said. “I don’t want to distract the team in any way, just have those guys come out here and play. I’m going to talk to them, most likely the next time we’re in the (practice) building.”
Ricard is hardly the only high-profile individual whose old tweets have caused embarrassment.
Earlier Sunday, Heisman Trophy-winning Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray apologized for homophobic tweets directed at a friend when he was “14 or 15.” Murray said the tweets that surfaced used a “poor choice of word that doesn’t reflect who I am or what I believe.”
Murray was drafted in the first round by the Oakland Athletics this past June, then threw for more than 4,000 yards with 40 touchdowns while leading the Sooners to the College Football Playoffs.
Earlier this week, actor and comedian Kevin Hart stepped down from duties hosting the Academy Awards after past homophobic tweets were published. Hart also apologized “to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past,” most of which were posted from 2009-11.
Ricard made the Ravens as an undrafted rookie out of Maine last year, and he became a curiosity of sorts by being one of the few players to line up on offense and defense. He’s made four tackles this season on the defensive line while playing 90 snaps on offense.
Ricard said he learned of his old tweets surfacing in his hotel room Saturday night, when his social media account started “blowing up.” He also said he never thought about them coming to light.
“It happened a long time ago, seven, six years ago. I really don’t remember,” Ricard said. “I tweet a lot, kind of don’t remember what I tweeted. Still not acceptable, still inappropriate. I really am sincerely sorry that I did that.”