Why Colin Kaepernick is wearing a black jersey in practice

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick sports a black jersey in practice, and there is actually a reason for it.

The San Francisco 49ers have been working through their OTAs the last three weeks, and open media sessions have meant pictures from practice. One thing people have noticed is Colin Kaepernick's black jersey. The 49ers quarterback wears a black jersey with a red 7, which differs from everybody on the field. It actually is also different from the other quarterbacks on the field. As we can see in this video Cam Inman shot, Kap is in his black jersey, while McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Kory Faulkner are in red jerseys.

Why is Kap wearing the black jersey? Well, it turns out this was addressed last August. On August 21, 2013, Matt Maiocco wrote about Jim Harbaugh's decision to switch Kap to the black jersey for safety reasons.

"And (I) felt like as the defense was running a stunt, and Ahmad (Brooks) came free and was a little too close to Colin," Harbaugh said. "So (the jersey is) a way to re-emphasize to stay away from Colin Kaepernick, so we don't get anything freakish happen in practice."

Apparently Kap said he was not a fan of the jersey, stating that Brooks didn't scare him at all on the play.

I'm normally not a fan of bizarre alternate jerseys, but I think I could convince myself on this one given the underlying story. I have to think the 49ers could do some decent sales of a black Colin Kaepernick jersey like this. People generally like black alternates. One of the best selling merchandise items in Oakland A's history was the black alternate they sold around 2000 or 2001. They stopped selling it eventually, but it did great when it was on sale.

However, beyond just that is that if you buy it knowing the back story as a practice jersey, I think people would feel a little more "49ers Insider" with it. I have a Homestead Grays jersey that I've worn to Washington Nationals games. The Grays were in town back in the day when it was still the Washington Senators. A lot of people don't notice it, but once in a while someone will see it and say something about the history. It's just kind of cool, and I think some folks would get that with a black Kap alternate jersey. That combined with people who are into black jerseys would seemingly lead to good sales numbers.

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