Colin Kaepernick Folds, Says He’ll Stand For The National Anthem If He Can Play Again; UPDATE: False Alarm

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Oct 08, 2017 1:40 PM
Colin Kaepernick Folds, Says He’ll Stand For The National Anthem If He Can Play Again; UPDATE: False Alarm

UPDATE: CBS Sports reporter clarifies report on Kaepernick, saying he never discussed the issue with the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback. The Associated Press added that based on ESPN sources from March, Kaepernick still planned on taking a knee, though he has been mum on the subject as of late. Right now, Kaepernick is just focused “on being a quarterback.” Sorry for the false alarm, folks.

A CBS Sports reporter clarified his televised report saying quarterback Colin Kaepernick told him he would stand during the national anthem if he played in the NFL again, saying he didn’t actually discuss the issue with the player when they spoke.

Jason La Canfora said in a series of tweets on Sunday that he was relaying previous reporting about Kaepernick and did not ask whether the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback would sit or stand during the anthem when he spoke about his interview with the player during a pregame show.

The reversal came after anchor James Brown asked La Canfora on “The NFL Today” : “And kneeling, he said?”

La Canfora responded: “He’s not planning on kneeling. He’s going to donate all his jersey sales and he’s planning on standing for the anthem if given the opportunity, J.B.”

La Canfora tweeted later that he does not know what Kaepernick would do during the anthem.

Relying on unnamed sources, ESPN reported in March that Kaepernick would stand during the anthem if he played again. But Kaepernick has not spoken publicly about what he would do.

Kaepernick did tweet a quote from Winston Churchill to summarize his feelings when this misreported story broke earlier today. The problem: Churchill never said this.

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Colin Kaepernick, who fired the first salvo in this national anthem controversy, has told CBS that would stand for the Star-Spangled Banner if given the opportunity to play in the National Football League again. Kaepernick started taking a knee during the national anthem last year. These antics have not been received well, with 72 percentof Americans viewing them as unpatriotic. 

Last month, President Trump ripped the league for tolerating these protests, calling them disrespectful to the flag and to the country. Well, the battlefield was set—and the NFL fell into the trap of hitting back at Trump. Since ‘take a knee’ syndrome began, approval for the NFL has dropped, third week ticket sales have plummeted almost 20 percent, and there’s been a spike in refund requests from ticket holders. The owners reportedly have the data, showing the anthem protests have torpedoed the NFL’s ratings and impacted their bottom lines. 

The question now is what team would take Kaepernick? In September, the Baltimore Ravens were reportedly close to signing the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback until his girlfriend took to Twitter (via ESPN):

Ray Lewis said the Baltimore Ravens chose not to sign Colin Kaepernick after the quarterback's girlfriend posted a "racist" tweet featuring the former All-Pro linebacker and owner Steve Bisciotti.

"We were going to close the deal to sign him," Lewis said on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" on Tuesday night. "Steve Bisciotti said, 'I want to hear Colin Kaepernick speak to let me know that he wants to play football.'"

"And it never happens because that picture comes up the next day."

The Aug. 2 tweet by Nessa Diab compared a picture of Lewis hugging Bisciotti to a scene from "Django Unchained," in which Samuel L. Jackson as a loyal house slave held Leonardo DiCaprio's cruel plantation owner character.

"His girl [Diab] goes out and put out this racist gesture and doesn't know we are in the back office about to try to get this guy signed," Lewis said. "Steve Bisciotti has said it himself: 'How can you crucify Ray Lewis when Ray Lewis is the one calling for Colin Kaepernick?'"