San Francisco 49ers

Torrey Smith: Kaepernick treated worse than criminals, players who do ‘crazy things’

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith before the start of a game against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 6, 2016 in Santa Clara.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith before the start of a game against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 6, 2016 in Santa Clara. AP file

Torrey Smith is standing up for Colin Kaepernick, saying his former quarterback is being unfairly blackballed while players who have committed crimes are facing less scrutiny.

“People are accepting and willing to (forgive) people when they beat the hell out of women, sell drugs, do whatever and commit all kinds of crimes and you’re able to forget that,” the Eagles wide receiver said after Tuesday’s practice, ESPN reported. “I’m a believer in second chances. ... But I think you have to be open-minded to know that (Kaepernick) did not commit a crime, he didn’t hurt anybody, he didn’t do anything.

“It was a protest, and now people are kind of locking him out or don’t want to support anybody that’s associated with him when you’re willing to support people who beat women, do all kinds of other crazy things.”

Smith’s comments came after Giants owner John Mara told TheMMQB.com that off-field concerns are factoring into Kaepernick’s inability to land on a team. Mara said he’s received “a lot” of letters from people who say they wouldn’t attend a Giants game if one of the players protested during the national anthem as Kaepernick did.

“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Mara told TheMMQB.com.

The Giants re-signed kicker Josh Brown while he was facing a domestic violence allegation before releasing him in October.

Smith took issue with Mara commenting about fans’ anger about the anthem protest while “you just had a (kicker) on your team who you were trying to hold onto for dear life until it was too late,” according to ESPN.

Kaepernick took a knee during the anthem before 49ers games last season to bring attention to social injustice, including police abuse of minorities. His visit in Seattle a week ago was the first time a team brought him in since he became a free agent on March 9.

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