Patrick Ricard, a second-year fullback/defensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, apologized Sunday for tweets he posted several years ago that contained racist and homophobic slurs. The tweets surfaced online before Baltimore’s loss to the Chiefs in Kansas City, and Ricard was made a healthy scratch for the game.
“I want to sincerely apologize for my inappropriate and unacceptable tweets,” Ricard told reporters after the game. “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, 6-foot-3 and 311 pounds, was an undrafted free agent out of the University of Maine, where he was an All-America defensive lineman for the Black Bears as a senior in 2016.
Ricard followed up those comments with a Twitter post in which he described the tweets in question as “inexcusable” and said they didn’t reflect his “true feelings, beliefs, or values as a human being.”
The offending remarks, from 2011 and 2012, were recently deleted, but other Twitter users posted images of them late Saturday night. In them, Ricard used the n-word in tweets such as, “My phone spins like a [expletive] at a disco,” and a well-known homophobic slur in tweets such as, “If your twitter picture is yourself flexing in the mirror … chances are your [sic] a [expletive]!”
“The tweets are totally unacceptable, and we have addressed the matter with Pat,” the Ravens said in a statement. Asked if he had spoken to his teammates about his comments, Ricard said that because Sunday was “game day,” he “didn’t want to distract the team in any way” and preferred to “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 building,” he said.
Ricard’s apology came hours after Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray did the same thing for yearsold tweets of his that included an anti-gay slur.
“I used a poor choice of word that doesn’t reflect who I am or what I believe,” said Murray, who had been awarded the Heisman Trophy the night before. “I did not intend to single out any individual or group.”
During July’s MLB All-Star Game, racist, homophobic and misogynistic tweets from Brewers reliever Josh Hader, who was playing in the game, began to go viral. “I was 17 years old,” Hader subsequently said of the tweets, posted in 2011 and 2012. “As a child, I was immature. I obviously said some things that were inexcusable. That doesn’t reflect on who I am as a person today.”
Ricard has earned the nickname “Project Pat” because of his unusual status as a two-way player. He has played 90 snaps on offense this season and has made four tackles as a defender, per ESPN.
Ricard said he was in his hotel room Saturday night when he saw his Twitter notifications “blowing up,” at which point he “just tried to figure out what to do best.” Asked if he had been worried before that point about those tweets coming to light, he replied, “It happened such a long time ago, seven or six years ago.
“I tweet a lot, and I kind of don’t remember what I tweeted. It’s still not acceptable. It’s still inappropriate,” Ricard continued. “I really am sincerely sorry that I did that.”
BDN staff contributed to this report