Chris Ault, the former college coach of Colin Kaepernick, felt compelled to speak up on the topic of his former quarterback's recent actions and comments regarding the National Anthem. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been at the center of a controversy that started with his refusal to stand during the pre-game tradition.
"People don't realize what's really going on in this country," said Kaepernick while addressing the media on Sunday. "There are a lot things that are going on that are unjust. People aren't being held accountable for. And that's something that needs to change. That's something that this country stands for freedom, liberty and justice for all. And it's not happening for all right now."
Ault, the former coach of Kaepernick at Nevada, shared his opinion on the matter via a letter to the Reno Gazette-Journal, which is part of the USA TODAY network.
"Kap using an NFL game as his platform to show the importance of his cause was selfish," said Ault. "Not standing up for an American treasure such as the National Anthem is disrespectful and clearly has shortchanged the essence of his message because the attention of an uneasy America is on him, not the cause he values.
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"I think there are better venues to express those interests and his ultimate message. You never lead by sitting down – during the national anthem or anywhere – so for me it's not the message that's troubling, it's the platform and the way it was delivered.
"Kap is too young and talented to get written off and I worry an act like this could have a negative impact on him and his career. He's a great young man. Guys like him can make a difference, but it's just a lot easier to make that point when you're excelling on the field."
Ault closed his comments by saying, "I'm hoping that the vicious competitor I know steps up and becomes a difference-maker for all his endeavors – on and off the field."
Ault was the second of Kaepernick's former coaches to address the controversy on Monday. Former 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh also briefly voiced his opinion while answering questions about the University of Michigan football program, where he is now the head coach.
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Two weeks ago, Ault was on 95.7 The Game to discuss the regression of Kaepernick on the field and why he thought that his former quarterback would bounce back and be a good fit within Chip Kelly's offense. Now, there are some that are wondering if Kaepernick will even be on the team's 53-man roster when the 2016 season officially opens.