Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


NBA stars falsely accuse 49ers of being hypocrites with recent actions

Jun 3, 2020 at 5:01 PM--


Colin Kaepernick was only with the San Francisco 49ers for one season while kneeling in protest of the social injustice during the national anthem before games. Over the weekend, in the wake of recent horrific events, team CEO Jed York pledged $1 million toward organizations fighting for change, just as he did in 2016 after Kaepernick started kneeling.

The 49ers also participated in the #BlackoutTuesday social media campaign this week.

A few NBA players are less than impressed by the Niners' recent actions, saying it is too little, too late.


There is just one problem. The 49ers did publicly stand by Kaepernick during his protests.

In a September 22, 2016 interview with NBC Sports Bay Area reporter Matt Maiocco, then-49ers head coach Chip Kelly said after the shootings of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Bently that the situation surrounding their deaths needed to be addressed.

"It needs to be addressed. It needs to be taken care of because what's going on is not right, Kelly said. "So, I think again, he's shedding light on a situation that is heinous. It 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."

On September 16, 2016, Crutcher, an unarmed man was shot by Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby while his hands were in the air. His vehicle was stuck on the side of the road while on September 20, 2016, Bently was shot and killed by Charlotte police officer Brently Vinson when he was attempting to serve a warrant to someone else and thought he saw a handgun in Bently's hand.

Though Shelby was charged with manslaughter, both officers did not get jail time for the deaths of these two men.

On May 3, 2017, 49ers CEO Jed York was on MMQB Podcast with Peter King and discussed his support for Kaepernick.

"He was voted our sort of team leader last year," York said. "He had the Len Eshmont Award, which is a very big award on this team, and there were players that didn't like what he did. There was certainly a clear divide in the locker room, but I think people respected that it started a dialogue that instead of -- we're not going to talk about something that's going to be, 'Well, this is your issue and I don't like what your issue is.' I think he actually started a dialogue of guys that didn't necessarily talk all the time."

York has donated $1 million to two Bay Area groups in support of Kaepernick's cause.

In a September 27, 2017 press conference, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said he thought it was a good idea which caused former 49er safety Eric Reid to write the opinion piece titled "Why Colin Kaepernick and I decided to take a knee" in the New York Times.

"I think there's a lot of lack of understanding and people don't know why people decide to do stuff and people want to jump to conclusions, which you can understand to a degree. I think it's very hard to make, to have an opinion on anything unless you can understand people's intentions, understand why they wanted to do stuff. I know talking to Eric personally, that's what he really wants to do. He wants people to understand his intentions, and his intentions are not to disrespect the flag and our country. His intentions are to help our country, and it's a way that he believes will. You can disagree with that all you want, but I can't disagree with his intentions, and I respect his intentions."

Kaepernick's teammates voted him as the winner of the Len Eshmont Award, which the 49ers award a player who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of former 49er Len Eshmont. This award is considered the most prestigious team honor on which players vote.

Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Bryant Young, Steve Young are some of the many 49er greats who won this award.

In an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, 49ers Insider Podcast, former 49er safety Antoine Bethea said what Kaepernick did will be talked about for years.

"When it first came out, obviously, there were probably some guys straddling the fence or on opposite sides. But at the end of the day, I think we did a good job as a team nipping it in the bud at the beginning. We came together as a team. Kaepernick spoke to the team. He explained why he was doing that. He also explained if anybody didn't agree or agreed or wanted to come talk to him, feel free to do that. A couple of guys did that. . . As far as the outsiders, of course, they have a lot to say about it. But I think we handled it well as a team."

Bethea would continue to say some people would not sit back and think about why Kaepernick is taking a knee.

"When it first came out, obviously, there were probably some guys straddling the fence or on opposite sides. But at the end of the day, I think we did a good job as a team nipping it in the bud at the beginning. We came together as a team. Kaepernick spoke to the team. He explained why he was doing that. He also explained if anybody didn't agree or agreed or wanted to come talk to him, feel free to do that. A couple of guys did that. . . As far as the outsiders, of course, they have a lot to say about it. But I think we handled it well as a team."

Kaepernick's kneeling during the national anthem was to bring awareness to the killing of unarmed men and women of color, which drew neither open denunciation from the 49er organization nor threats to cut him.

The 49ers' front office and former players have supported him through their words and public backing.





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