Colin Kaepernick speaks about his protest
At least one 49ers player seems to be taking issue with ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer’s assertion that Colin Kaepernick’s anthem stance has been bad for his team.
Wrote outside linebacker Eli Harold on his Twitter account on Sunday: “Trent Dilfer you are an idiot You really just (expletive) me off.”
Before Sunday’s slate of games, Dilfer said on “Sunday NFL Countdown” that Kaepernick’s job as backup quarterback “is to be quiet and sit in the shadows and get the starter ready to play Week 1.”
“Yet he chose a time where all of a sudden he became the center of attention,” Dilfer said. “And it has disrupted that organization. It has caused friction. And it’s torn at the fabric of the team.”
Dilfer is a former 49ers quarterback who lives in the Bay Area and who is close friends with general manager Trent Baalke.
Kaepernick, however, was not the backup when he began refusing to stand for the national anthem in mid August. He was battling Blaine Gabbert for the starting job, although Kaepernick was injured at the time.
What’s more, although there have been plenty of assertions that Kaepernick’s stance – he says he can’t honor a country that oppresses some of its citizens – would cause a rift in the locker room, there’s no evidence that has occurred.
A number of players have said that the team has grown tighter because of the issue. Chip Kelly, meanwhile, has said several times that it has not impacted how the team practices or prepares.
“It is a very thoughtful group and I am proud of them,” Kelly said Sept. 1. “I am really proud of how they’ve handled things, and if my job is to hand it off to them and let them handle it, I think they have done a really good job of that.”
Meanwhile, more NFL players joined Kaepernick’s protest Sunday. Four Dolphins, including veteran running back Arian Foster, took a knee during their team’s anthem ceremony. Seahawks and Chiefs players stood with locked arms. One Chiefs player, cornerback Marcus Peters, stood with a raised fist, a stance made famous by sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos during the 1968 Olympics.
Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid plan to kneel during Monday’s anthem. Both have said they don’t know if other players will join them.