San Francisco 49ers

Kaepernick says he doesn’t need to vote to create change

Arik Armstead had surgery on his injured left shoulder Tuesday, No. 15 but is expected to be back at full strength when the team begins practicing for its 2017 in the spring.
Arik Armstead had surgery on his injured left shoulder Tuesday, No. 15 but is expected to be back at full strength when the team begins practicing for its 2017 in the spring. The Bee

Asked how he can be a proponent for change despite never voting in an election, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said Tuesday, “There’s more than one way to create change.”

On Monday, The Sacramento Bee reported that Kaepernick never has been registered to vote in California or in Nevada, where he attended college in Reno. He recently said he felt both major candidates running for president were severely flawed and participating in the election would be tantamount to supporting the same “systematic oppression” that has worked against minorities in this country.

As for effecting change, Kaepernick has pledged to donate more than $1 million to groups that address racial inequality. During the bye week, he held a “Know Your Rights” seminar for young people in Oakland that addressed police brutality concerns and gave advice on education, finances and health and fitness.

Kaepernick has knelt during the national anthem this season to drawn attention to social issues. Fellow NFL players, athletes in other professional sports and youth athletes have followed his lead.

Armstead has surgery – Defensive lineman Arik Armstead had surgery on his left shoulder Tuesday and is expected to be ready for the start of the offseason program in the spring.

The 2015 first-round draft pick went on injured reserve last week, ending a season in which he often was sidelined by his ailing shoulder, which began bothering him in training camp.

The specific injury has yet to be revealed, but a source said the shoulder continued to “sublux,” or partially separate, after he initially hurt it during practice Aug. 7. That explains the shoulder harness Armstead wore during the season and the wide range of snaps he played from game to game.

The source did not want to be identified because he does not have authority to speak on the matter.

Defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil said the injury sidetracked what was shaping up to be a special season for Armstead.

“I think everybody saw the playmaking ability he had in the run and pass game,” O’Neil said. “And then when the shoulder (injury occurred) and he lost strength in that, he wasn’t the same player. I do credit the kid for trying to fight through it. He tried to play to the best of his ability to help his teammates out. But he clearly wasn’t the guy that he was in the spring and in training camp that, as a staff, we felt would be a Pro Bowl, All-Pro-type difference maker for our defense.”

Armstead posted an Instagram photo Tuesday of him in a surgical gown while noting it was his 23rd birthday.

Et cetera – Wide receiver Torrey Smith (back) and defensive lineman Quinton Dial (knee, neck) weren’t on the field when practice began Tuesday. Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, who missed the past two games because of a high ankle sprain, was in uniform and practiced on a limited basis.

▪ The 49ers re-signed offensive lineman Colin Kelly to the practice squad. Kelly replaced fifth-round draft pick Fahn Cooper, who was moved to the practice squad’s injured list because of a medical issue that is non-mechanical in nature. Kelly spent training camp with the team.

▪ Left tackle Joe Staley was selected as the 49ers’ nominee for the NFL’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, the second consecutive season he has received that honor.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at