March 22, 2017
Torrey Smith and Malcolm Jenkins. The former just arrived in town, while the latter is one of the leaders in the Philadelphia Eagles locker room, but both players took to Twitter to voice their support for free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
In case you haven't been following, the former 49ers
starting backup starting quarterback has yet to sign with a team this offseason despite having a bounce-back season in 2016 that saw him throw for 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 12 games. Kaepernick also added a pair of rushing touchdowns in Chip Kelly's first (and only) season in San Francisco.
And while some scouts will tell you that, despite his numbers, the film on Kaepernick from last season wasn't much better than in previous years, there's another theory out there that, if true, would not be a good look for the NFL: the idea that teams are essentially blackballing Kaepernick because of his political views, most notably his decision to kneel during the national anthem prior to 49ers games.
Even President Donald Trump brought it up recently:
“And you know, your San Francisco quarterback,” Trump said, via TMZ. “I’m sure nobody ever heard of him. I’m just reporting the news. There was an article today — I love to report the news and then they said I made a mistake, right? I said, ‘No, the people reporting the news made a mistake if it’s wrong.’ But there was an article today, it was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that. I said if I remember that one I’m gonna report it to the people of the Kentucky. Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.” [profootballtalk.com]
Early last season, soon after people took note of what Kaepernick was doing, athletes from all different sports at all different levels – including local high school athletes – were joining with him, even if some were putting their own spin on it.
Here's what Jenkins tweeted on Tuesday night:
The tweet he was quoting was from @NFLTotalAccess (NFL Network) and had a video with the following title image:
As for Smith, he was teammates with Kaepernick last season in San Francisco and his support shouldn't come as much of a surprise. On Wednesday, he tweeted:
At least 64 QBS are in the NFL...Kap doesn't have a job....but some folks who he is better than do pic.twitter.com/k92jGNl6ZX— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) March 22, 2017
Earlier this month, Smith called Kaepernick "a legend" for his protest and spent quite a bit of time defending him on Twitter.
Kap is a legend for that protest though...he pushed race and social issues to the front and inspired more folks to say and do something— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) March 2, 2017
Kaepernick, who earlier this month said that he's going to stand for the anthem moving forward, made headlines again for helping with the famine in Somalia when he convinced a Turkish airline to donate a plane to help deliver supplies. He's also previously pledged to donate $1,000,000 to various charities.
For now, Kaepernick will have to continue to wait for a job opportunity.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin