Alex Smith claims United States ‘wasn’t ready’ for Colin Kaepernick’s anthem message
The 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith believes the country was not prepared for Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest of the national anthem.
Smith told Kyle Brandt of The Ringer lamented the way in which his former teammate was essentially exiled from the NFL. He added Kaepernick was “ahead of his time” in addressing issues such as police reform:
“The country wasn’t ready for it, and he suffered the repercussions with his job,” Alex Smith said about Colin Kaepernick’, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “I mean, he lost his livelihood. . . . [It was] tragic, sad, but obviously he was incredibly brave and certainly proud of him, to even know him and what he’s done, because fast forward a few years later and I think we all were like, ‘He obviously was trying to tell us something.’”
Kaepernick first began kneeling in 2016. The protest was about racial inequity and raising heightened awareness with respect to police brutality. He lost San Francisco’s starting job that same season, and has not played in the NFL since.
There had been rumblings Kaepernick could get an opportunity last summer. But those whispers proved to be nothing more than smoke.
Colin Kaepernick got his first real opportunity in the NFL when Smith suffered a concussion just over midway through the year. He led the Niners all the way to the Super Bowl, dazzling with his arm talent and exceptional speed and mobility.
That playoff run made Kaepernick the full-time starter. He took San Francisco back to the NFC Championship Game in 2013, and was the starter for three more seasons.
It remains to be seen if “Kap” will ever get another chance in the NFL. But Alex Smith made sure to note his legacy is tremendously important, regardless of whether Kaepernick returns to the gridiron.