Chip Kelly announced on Tuesday that Colin Kaepernick is going to take over as the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback. The 49ers offense has struggled to get any consistency going, and the quarterback position the only significant opportunity to make a change.
Whether Kaepernick performs well on Sunday or not, his return to the lineup will bring his protests further to the forefront. We’ve seen a lot of coverage of the protests, but this will mark the first time in the regular season that Kaepernick will be getting significant snaps. It is not going to change his Anthem routine, and I imagine the media won’t have much to add to the coverage. But the support levels will be interesting to track.
On Tuesday, after Chip Kelly announced Kaepernick would get the start, rapper Chuck D offered up this tweet of support. I don’t imagine it will be the last tweet of support, just like I fully expect there to be plenty of tweets denigrating Kaepernick. Some have hit my Twitter timeline, and I imagine there will be plenty more.
It is almost entirely predictable how reactions will be after Sunday’s game. His performance should have zero bearing on the importance of his statement and the issues he is addressing, but clearly people will make that a major factor. I do think that a solid performance will make a difference in terms of public perception. That’s not fair, but that’s the way things are. And vice versa if he performs poorly. Of course, with more and more people taking part, a poor performance on Sunday might not impact things as much as it would if he was alone in this, or one of only a few people.