San Francisco 49ers

Kaepernick tells Turlock audience that Miami incident ‘changed my way of thinking’

Colin Kaepernick said Friday that last month’s incident in Miami was “a bad circumstance” and has “changed my way of thinking.”

“It’s been put out that I did something wrong,” the 49ers quarterback said during the 21st annual Turlock Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Denair. “Even though it’s a bad circumstance, a bad situation, I feel like ultimately I’ve been blessed because it’s changed my way of thinking. It’s made me stronger. It’s made me look at things differently.”

Kaepernick, who was raised in Turlock after his family moved from Wisconsin, received a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 900 after his first remarks in public about what police termed a “suspicious incident” in a hotel room.

Kaepernick, 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton and Seahawks wideout Ricardo Lockette are part of an investigation of an incident that involved a 25-year-old woman. They have not been charged and the woman did not report any criminal activity in a police incident report. Miami police said Kaepernick was not present when they responded to a 911 call, reportedly made by Lockette after the woman refused to leave. The woman later awoke in a hospital.

“Even this morning, this is a blessing,” Kaepernick said Friday. . “It makes me very happy to know that people are staying behind me the way they have.”

Kaepernick’s speech covered a variety of topics, including the mood in the locker room before kickoff.

“It’s amazing how spiritual a locker room can become before a game,” he said. “What you see on the field is a lot of people trying to hurt each other. But before the game, you see them on their knees asking for protection.”

Kaepernick also discussed his faith-based childhood provided by parents Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, who adopted him after they lost two infant sons to heart defects.

“My faith has made me what I am today. You realize things were set up a certain way for you,” Kaepernick said. “I see faith as a reflection of what I’ve been through. ... If they don’t lose those kids, they don’t adopt me.”

Kaepernick’s overriding message was concise: He identified himself as a “man of God” who was raised as a Christian.

“It’s given me a more solid foundation about what’s right and what’s wrong,” he said, “and what I should be doing and what I shouldn’t be doing ... and not putting myself in bad situations.”