Rob Parker had the hottest take from Sept. 1-7.

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Hot Takes, this time breaking down all the hottest sports media takes from Sept. 1-7.

5. Ray Lewis says he tried to get Ravens to sign Colin Kaepernick, was stopped by Kaepernick’s girlfriend’s “racist gesture”: Lewis has previously made this column for telling Kaepernick “Let your play speak for itself” and “what you do off the field, don’t let too many people know,” and he’s back again thanks to his comments on Showtime’s Inside The NFL (where he’s a new analyst this season) Wednesday. Lewis created a firestorm there by saying that he lobbied Baltimore Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti to sign Kaepernick, but was foiled by Kaepernick’s girlfriend Nessa Diab tweeting a “racist gesture” (a comparison of Lewis to a slave in Django Unchained) in response to Lewis’ own comments telling Kaepernick to keep quiet off the field:

Ray Lewis: “When me and Steve Bisciotti were talking, this is what we were talking about, Judy. We were talking about giving this kid an opportunity to get back in the National Football League. Look, this is what I wanted to share with people. I have been fighting for this kid behind the table like nobody has… I’ve never been against Colin Kaepernick. But I am against the way he’s done it. 

“Then, his girl [Colin Kaepernick’s girlfriend] goes out and put out this racist gesture and doesn’t know we are in the back office about to try to get this guy signed. Steve Bisciotti has said it himself, ‘How can you crucify Ray Lewis when Ray Lewis is the one calling for Colin Kaepernick?’…

When they (Ravens) called me, it was to say, ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ … We were going to close the deal to sign him… Steve Bisciotti said, ‘I want to hear Colin Kaeperkick speak to let me know that he wants to play football.’… And it never happens because that picture comes up the next day. “ 

Judy Battista: “So, if not for that… tweet, you think he would be a Baltimore Raven”

Ray Lewis: “Then he’s flying him to Baltimore.  I am sitting with all three of them and we are all having a conversation about bringing Colin Kaepernick in.“

First off, this reads as a lot of non-factual self-promotion from Lewis, especially considering the “never been against Colin Kaepernick, but I am against the way he’s done it” comments. Lewis is the last person who should be talking about players’ off-field behavior considering his involvement in two murders in 2000 (he was charged with two counts of murder, but made a deal to testify against his friends and eventually pled guilty to obstruction of justice), but he’s consistently criticized Kaepernick in the media; this seems like a way to try and change that narrative. Beyond that, Lewis got ethered by Dave Zirin for this, with a reference to Lewis’ infamous links to deer antler spray even:

So, yeah, this latest attempt to exonerate himself while still bashing Kaepernick (and Diab, in this case) wasn’t a great look for Lewis.

Rating: ??

4. Albert Breer cites option’s decline as a reason Kaepernick’s unemployed, gets roasted: Breer has had some of the worst takes on Kaepernick (including wondering about his motivation and using anonymous sources to suggest he didn’t work hard) and many other matters, and he stayed on brand this week, publishing a MMQB story about the decline of quarterback option offenses at the NFL level (valid) and suggesting that’s a major reason Kaepernick’s unemployed (not so much). Here are his first tweets promoting it:

Breer then took criticism for it, but didn’t back down:

Cian Fahey (of ESPN’s Nickel Package podcast and Pre-Snap Reads) particularly roasted Breer on this one, but Breer dismissed him as a “Twitter scout”:

That’s typical Breer, claiming both that people are saying something they really aren’t and then pretending that passing along quotes from people with an agenda of making it look like the NFL isn’t blackballing Kaepernick equals reporting. But Richard Sherman’s response was even better:

“Really doesn’t Albert” may become the go-to response to Breer.

Rating: ???

3. Stephen A. Smith says he wouldn’t sign Kaepernick because of Diab’s tweet: So, as discussed above, Ray Lewis had the bad take of trying to claim that the Ravens didn’t sign Kaepernick solely over that tweet from his girlfriend. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith one-upped that by saying he wouldn’t sign Kaepernick over that:

“I’m not signing that brother. Go kick rocks. You can get the hell up out of here. It’s on you. You know why? Because she didn’t just issue a tweet. We heard nothing from Colin Kaepernick. When you’re together, you’re as one, and when you do things, it’s a reflection on the person that you’re with.”

As with Lewis, this tendency to say athletes should control their partners and be held responsible for their comments is problematic. (And did Stephen A. have similar takes on Tom Brady not telling Gisele Bundchen to keep quiet about concussions or who he voted for?)

Rating: ????

2. Doug Gottlieb says Michael Bennett’s story “has holes”:

Yeah, just going with the police union statement and bashing Bennett despite video supporting his claims is a great idea, Doug.

Rating: ?????

1. Rob Parker calls Boston the “Biggest Cheaters Of All Time”: 

Parker is known for insanely hot takes and ludicrous acronyms, and he got both in here in this discussion of the Red Sox Apple Watch controversy. “There’s a thing called integrity!” Well, it’s doubtful that Mr. “Cornball Brother” Parker knows what that is. And Parker going in on Boston with “This is what this city is about!” is hilarious. Even Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe are laughing at him here.

Rating: ?????

Notable absences:  Skip Bayless, Phil Mushnick, Colin Cowherd.

Hot Take Standings: 

Stephen A. Smith – 125
Skip Bayless – 98
Phil Mushnick – 72
Colin Cowherd – 30
Shannon Sharpe – 26
Doug Gottlieb – 18
Rob Parker – 17
JT The Brick – 17
Albert Breer – 16
Ray Lewis – 14
Rick Morrissey – 13
Charles Barkley – 13
Don Cherry – 11
Chris Broussard – 10
C.J. Nitkowski – 9
Bill Plaschke – 9
Tony Massarotti – 8
Jason McIntyre – 8
Bart Hubbuch – 8
Dan Dakich – 7
Michael DeCourcy – 6
Kristine Leahy – 6
Luke Kerr-Dineen – 6
Terry Bradshaw – 6
Greg A. Bedard – 6
Jesse Watters – 5
Jeremy Roenick – 5
John McGrath – 5
Ross Tucker  – 5
Mike Sielski – 5
Gordon Monson – 5
Scott Fowler – 5
Bob Brookover – 5
Berry Tramel – 5
Mike Bianchi – 5
Terry Frei – 5
David Jones – 5
Sabrina Parr – 5
Abbey Mastracco – 5
Terry Cushman – 5
Rob Rossi – 5
Rick Bozich – 5
Michael O’Doherty – 5
Simon Briggs – 5
Dan Wetzel – 5
Mike Parry – 5
Bob Ryan – 5
Robert Reed – 5
Pete Dougherty – 5
Dan Le Batard – 5
Marcus Hayes – 5
Kyle Turley – 5
Mike Ditka – 5
Erril Laborde – 5
Lowell Cohn – 5
Rosie DiManno – 5
Frank Isola – 5
Mark Spector – 4
Chad Forbes – 4
Gary Myers – 4
Mark Schlereth – 4
Andy Gray – 4
David Fleming – 4
The Sporting News – 4
Jeff Pearlman – 4
Tony Grossi – 4
FanSided – 4
Cris Carter – 4
Kirk Herbstreit – 4
Tony Kornheiser – 4
Mike Felger – 4
USA Today op-eds – 4
Nathan Ruiz – 4
Matt Burke – 3
Michael Rapaport – 3
Malcolm Gladwell – 3
Mike Milbury – 3
Mac Engel – 3
Nick Kypreos – 3
Jason Smith – 3
Caron Butler – 3
Don Brennan – 3
Robert Tychkowski – 3
Mike Johnston – 3
Mike Francesa – 3
Jeff Mans – 3
Danny Kanell – 3
Joe Browne – 3
Mike Harrington – 3
Greg Mitchell – 3
Bill Cowher – 2
Paul Finebaum – 2
Charley Casserly – 2
Amin Elhassan – 2
Jim Henneman – 2
Mitch Lawrence – 2
Nick Wright – 2
Domonique Foxworth – 2
Gary Parrish – 2
Michael Farber – 2
Andy Furman – 2
Donovan McNabb – 2
Seth Davis – 2
Jon Heyman – 2
Jason La Canfora – 2
Dan Wolken – 2
Booger McFarland – 2
Joe Schad – 2
Cork Gaines – 2

Thanks for reading! Tune in next week for more This Week In Hot Takes. As always, you can send submissions to me via e-mail or on Twitter.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.