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49ers’ George Kittle shares honest thoughts on offseason Kinlaw-reporter drama

Jun 23, 2022 at 2:06 PM--

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In May, a frustrated Javon Kinlaw lashed out at Sports Illustrated reporter Grant Cohn after calling into his video podcast. Equally frustrated teammates came out in defense of Kinlaw's actions. Things escalated to the point where San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch had to sit down with his player and the media member to hash out the situation.

Kinlaw's teammate, tight end George Kittle, joined the Bussin' with the Boys podcast this week and was asked about the drama that unfolded between Kinlaw and the reporter.

"It just came to a point where [Cohn] had been taking shots at a guy, Javon, who grew up homeless," Kittle shared. "He grew up having to use cold water for showers. He had to go to a faucet, not in his house, for a shower. Stuff like that. He had an unreal upbringing and made it to the NFL.

"He got hurt. He had a knee thing, and he hasn't been able to play to the level that he wants to play. He's a fantastic player. And throughout the whole season last year, he's on IR, and [Cohn] would tweet at him and just s--t on him. During the season, there's nothing he can do, and he'd be like, 'Oh hey, another week of Javon Kinlaw not playing' or some s--t like that."

Kinlaw appeared in just four games last season, his second in the NFL, before having to undergo season-ending knee surgery.

"And it's just like, 'C'mon, the kid's out,'" Kittle continued. "If you want to [say], 'George Kittle, you dropped the ball, and you guys lost the game,' sure, dude. Give me all the s--t in the world for that. But don't go at a guy where there's nothing he can do about a situation. He's trying every day to get healthy, so leave him alone.

"Kinlaw saw him at the first OTAs open practice. He confronted him a little bit, and it kind of went off on social media. You never want to do something like that because it always gets spun. You could look like not a great person. But Kinlaw's fantastic. He's an incredible teammate. He's incredibly nice.

"He just deals with s--t different than I would. But hey, that's the NFL. Guys come up from different livelihoods, and they deal with s--t differently, and that's just what it is. And I think, ultimately, [the situation] got kind of ironed out, and we're all right, but it is what it is. That guy wants to take shots at players that can't participate, and that's what he wants to make his money off of, go for it, man. It's your cup of tea."

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