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Colin Kaepernick discussed fight in 49ers, clarifies Fidel Castro thoughts, breaks down final play

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Full transcript of Kaepernick’s press conference following the team’s 10th straight loss.

The San Francisco 49ers were two yards away from being able to tie the game up with two seconds left on the clock but they couldn’t convert and notched their 10th loss in a row. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick spoke about that last play and how there’s still a ton of fight left in this team. He also clarified his stance on Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator who recently passed away.

Here’s the full transcript:

In that situation, did you, as the quarterback have to buy yourself some room?

You have to get in the end zone. Ultimately, that’s what it all comes down to. We had a pass play called, I stepped up, thought we had a seam to be able to get in there and didn’t make it in.

Why do you have to see to take off and run for it?

An opening. There was a crease there, thought I saw it. Kiko [Alonzo] did a great job of covering, coming back and making a play there.

How’d you feel about your play in general?

We left some stuff on the field. For me there were throws that I could have made that weren’t there. As a whole we can’t turn the ball over and win football games, we can’t have penalties that stop drives for us. As a whole we have to be on top of those things and cut out those mistakes in order to win football games.

There was some controversy regarding your views on Castro in the newspaper.

Yeah, what I said was I agree with the investment in education. I also agree with the investment in free universal health care as well as his involvement in helping end apartheid in South Africa. I would hope that everybody agrees those things are good things. Trying to push the false narrative that I was a supporter of the oppressive things that he did is just not true.

You were taken out of context?

Yes, it was completely out of context. Yes, because once again what I said was I support the investment in education. I’ve never said I support the oppressive tings that he did.

You’re wearing a Malcolm X shirt today. The controversy stems from another shirt you were wearing that had Malcolm X and Fidel Castro on it. Is there any symbolism to the shirt you’re wearing today?

I’ve worn many Malcolm X shirts. He was a great man and he lived the life that he talked about. He was someone that truly walked the walk, was a great leader for the african community, and someone that I admire.

Do you understand why people in South Florida were concerned about you wearing a shirt of Fidel Castro, a dictator who oppressed people?

I can understand the concern, but for me, what I said was, that was a historic moment for Malcolm. I’m not going to cut out pieces of Malcolm’s life. In 1960 when they met in Harlem, that was a historic moment. That’s something I will always be true to, what Malcolm was, what he represented, because I’m not going to cut out history.

Did you find it ironic that after you have this discussion with a reporter about this that you’re in Miami when Castro passes away?

Very unique circumstances. It’s hard to really say if it was coincidence or whatever it may be. Once again very unique circumstances.

Is there anything else you’d like to clarify on your thoughts?

I feel like I did clarify them. I believe in the investment in education, I believe in free universal health care which we don’t have here. I also believe in the positive thing he did in ending aparthied in South Africa.

How much do you worry about people losing track, especially with not voting, of the message you are trying to put forth.

I don’t worry about people losing track of what the message is, because I’ve been true to the message. I’m against systematic oppression and voting is a part of that system and I believe that.

When you guys were down 31-14, did anyone saying in the huddle? How did you tell the guys to respond?

The mentality that we had as a team was let’s go get this win. I thought our guys did a great job of fighting to the very end. At the beginning of the game I asked them to go four quarters with me and they did. Our defense did a great job at the end to give us an opportunity to get the ball back and go score. We had some great plays on that final drive, Torrey catching the end cut on the fourth down, Kerley making a great catch on the sideline to get us closer for an opportunity to score at the end. We have to able to finish with touchdowns to give us the opportunity to win games.

Was that last play supposed to go to Vance?

We have a couple of different reads on that depending on what defense they’re in. They played it well. It was something that we have to be able to make a play on, that last play and get in the end zone.