San Francisco 49ers

49ers notes: Seahawks players see Kaepernick in new light

Players talk about joining 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in racial injustice protest

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem to shed light on racial injustice. His actions have spread across the NFL as other players are showing signs of support.
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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem to shed light on racial injustice. His actions have spread across the NFL as other players are showing signs of support.

The Seahawks and 49ers still might be fierce rivals on the field, but one Seattle player praised quarterback Colin Kaepernick for focusing attention on racial injustice and police brutality.

“It’s across the country right now,” wide receiver Doug Baldwin said Wednesday. “Obviously, we wouldn’t be having this conversation if it wasn’t for him bringing it to light. So he’s stood on the table and shouted and got everybody’s attention. And now we have to work on the follow-through collectively.”

Baldwin said he has had “extensive conversations” with Kaepernick focused on harnessing the attention their national anthem protests have received and taking the next step in addressing racial inequality.

Seahawks players have stood with locked arms during the last two national anthems. On Wednesday, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman used his weekly news conference to issue a statement condemning race relations in the country, then walked out of the room.

“The reason these guys are kneeling, the reason we’re locking arms, is to bring people together to make people aware that this is not right,” Sherman said. “It’s not right for people to get killed in the street.”

Sherman once flashed a “choke” sign at Kaepernick after intercepting a pass at the end of the 2013 NFC championship game. It seems there is newfound respect for their one-time adversary.

“He’s very intelligent, very thoughtful and very passionate, obviously,” Baldwin said. “I didn’t know him as a person. I only knew him as a football player. But, obviously, getting to speak to him and getting to know him a little more, you can tell he has a lot of depth to him.”

Skov promoted – The 49ers replaced injured linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong on the active roster Wednesday with former Stanford star Shayne Skov.

“Shayne was actually a difficult cut on the (initial) cut to 53 because I think he did enough to make the team,” 49ers coach Chip Kelly said. “Obviously, we felt that we had six inside linebackers that were NFL-quality players. So that was a difficult day for Shayne and for us.”

Skov, 26, appeared in 15 games last year for the 49ers, finishing with four special-teams tackles. He had 19 tackles in the preseason, second to Michael Wilhoite, who could see a lot of the passing-down snaps that previously had gone to Armstrong. The team’s other inside linebackers are NaVorro Bowman, Gerald Hodges and Nick Bellore.

The 49ers placed Armstrong on injured reserve with a chest injury. He is eligible to return later this year.

Et cetera – The 49ers signed linebacker Curtis Grant to the practice squad. Grant, who played at Ohio State, has spent time with the Chargers, Falcons, Titans and Raiders since going undrafted last season.

▪ Tackle Anthony Davis (concussion) is the only player on the active roster who didn’t practice Wednesday. Safety Jaquiski Tartt (knee) and nose tackle Mike Purcell (ankle) were limited.

▪ Defensive linemen Arik Armstead (shoulder), Quinton Dial (knee) and Glenn Dorsey (knee) practiced in full.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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