SAN FRANCISCO (KRON)- 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is on the cover of Time magazine this week.
Kaepernick is kneeling with the words “The Perilous Fight: National anthem protests led by Colin Kaepernick are fueling a debate about privilege, pride, and patriotism.”
Thursday morning 49ers head coach Chip Kelly discussed Kaepernick and the National Anthem protest that has sparked a national debate.
Here is what Coach Kelly had to say to reporters:
I’m sure you know that QB Colin Kaepernick is on the cover of Time Magazine.
“Yeah, [49ers vice president of communications] Bob [Lange] told me before I got up here.”
I know you’ve said in the past that he certainly has the right to do it. But, what are your feelings about how this has really just taken off nationally?
“Well, I think it’s an issue. You look at what’s gone on in Tulsa and Charlotte in the last two nights; it’s an issue that’s at the forefront of our country in that it needs to be addressed, it needs to be taken care of because what’s going on is not right. I think, again, he’s shedding light on a situation that is heinous and shouldn’t happen in this country. We all have inalienable rights as a citizen of this country and they’re being violated and that’s what I think Colin is standing up for.”
How has he done budgeting his time? He’s kind of been a model–?
“Again, a question for him about modeling his time. When he’s here, he’s doing football and when we’re here from 8:15 when we get here in the morning, until 5:00 when we leave, he’s at every meeting, he’s done everything, there hasn’t been anything, ‘Hey, coach I need time because I’ve got this going on.’ He hasn’t done that. He understands what his job is and he’s balanced it really well and I think he’s managed it really well. He’s focused. He’s dialed in when we’re at practice. He’s dialed in when we’re in meetings.”
How do you feel when he takes over the locker room and he talks about his concerns, which are valid and important? I think specifically about after the Rams win, when you beat the Rams, and he was talking about injustice in America and I believe some of the players were uncomfortable with that. How do you feel when he takes over the room?
“I don’t think Colin takes over any room. I think it’s–”
Oh he did after the Rams game.
“I can give you my opinion of what I think. I think he’s asked questions about a subject and he’s answering those questions.”
He should turn down. He should say, ‘Talk to me at another time.’ I was in the room. Were you in the room at that time?
“Yeah, I walked by in the locker room. I’m in the locker room.”
Anyways, so we disagree on if he took over the room. Do you think it’s appropriate that he should be talking about those things after a win?
“Yeah, I do. When he’s asked a question, I think he should answer what his feelings are on those questions. If you don’t believe that’s a thing then maybe you shouldn’t ask him those questions.”
I didn’t ask him those questions.
We have a fundamental disagreement then.
“That’s the great thing about this country, isn’t it?”
The 49ers’ backup quarterback became a polarizing figure when his protest became public following a preseason game against the Packers on Aug. 26, when he sat on the bench during the national anthem in protest of racial oppression and police brutality. Kaepernick has since begun kneeling during the anthem instead of sitting and has been joined by several other NFL players and scores of high school and college players who have picked up the cause. Kaepernick has also pledged to donate $1 million to organizations supporting his cause of racial equality.