Colin Kaepernick sparked a national controversy this weekend, refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem before San Francisco’s 21-10 preseason loss to Green Bay last Friday. He is refusing to acknowledge the flag to protest the treatment of minorities of America.
While his act was both silent and peaceful, Kaepernick, 28, has received considerable backlash from countless people throughout the country.
If you’re Kaepernick’s teammate, what do you say to him?
“Well, I probably wouldn’t tell him anything,” former NFL quarterback and current Compass Media Networks NFL analyst Danny White said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Until I know that he’s not going to be my quarterback – which, in my own personal opinion, he shouldn’t be – that’s just something you shouldn’t do. Whether you believe it or not, you just don’t alienate your teammates. Everybody is getting asked about it. It’s going to be the lead story on every sports news program for a long time until they do something with him. I think he’s pretty much forced the 49ers’ hand is what he’s done.
“It’s just one of those things,” White continued. “It’s kind of a political stance that doesn’t need to be aired out on national television or on the sidelines of an NFL game. You just keep that to yourself if that’s really the way you feel, and go about your business. I think he made a big mistake.”
White, 64, doesn’t have a problem with Kaepernick expressing his feelings on a topic; he just doesn’t think Kaepernick should say or do anything to be a distraction and put an unnecessary burden on his teammates.
“I got nothing against him voicing his opinion and taking a stance for what he believes,” White said. “I just don’t think he should have done it. I don’t think he should do it outside the stadium. I’m just saying for the sake of the respect of his teammates – you asked me what would I say to him if I was a teammate; I don’t think any of his teammates are going to say anything to him. But it’s what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling in their heart and brain, what they’re thinking about the guy that’s going to cause negative reactions from his teammates. That’s something that happens whether you can see it on the outside or not – and I think this has happened. And he’s lost the respect of a lot of his teammates whether they say anything to him or not.”
The 49ers open the season against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football in Week 1.