One year ago tomorrow will mark the one-year anniversary of Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protest first becoming public. Kaepernick sat during the Anthem in the first two preseason games last season, but it was first noticed in the third game. Since then, there have been numerous opinions about Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protest, and the subsequent fallout for him and the league.
We’ve heard comments from some of his teammates, but on Friday, Kevin Lynch put together a great piece that involved interviews with 37 of his teammates. Lynch’s article is up at The Athletic, a new venture that launched in the Bay Area earlier this month. The content is subscription-based, but this article is a free view today. There are not comments from the 37 different players, but we get a lot of insight from several players.
The article goes into how the locker room adjusted to the protest throughout the season. Daniel Kilgore took issue with it, but as has been widely reported, better understood it after speaking with Kaepernick following the first public protest. That is a common refrain from a lot of players, after Kaepernick spoke to a players’ meeting.
NaVorro Bowman and Quinton Dial were among the players last year who understood his beliefs but did not think it was appropriate for the football field. However, one interesting nugget Lynch offers is that a source told him Bowman was the one who pushed for Kaepernick to get the team’s Len Eshmont Award, which is a player-voted award that goes to the player who best exemplifies courageous and inspirational play.
It’s a great insight into the varying opinions of the 49ers players, and how they felt then vs. now.