Jim Harbaugh and his former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Alex Boone may have some common ground, after all. Neither would call himself a fan of Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest.
Jim Harbaugh on Colin Kaepernick: "I acknowledge his right to do it. But I don't respect the motivation or the action."
— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) August 29, 2016
This issue has been hotly discussed since Kaepernick’s initial protest. Like Boone, Justin Pugh of the New York Giants has spoken out against Kaepernick. Meanwhile, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Myke Tavarres has said that he’ll join Kaepernick, who told reporters he no plans on stopping (watch here).
Harbaugh did later clarify that he respected Kaepernick’s motivation, but not the action.
I apologize for misspeaking my true sentiments. To clarify, I support Colin's motivation. It's his method of action that I take exception to
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) August 29, 2016
Harbaugh was right to do that. His initial statement was puzzling. Not respecting the action is one thing. But Kaepernick’s motivation — equal rights for all — is certainly a noble cause.
The action is curious. There’s certainly more that Kaepernick could do to advance his cause, though he says he has things in the works that will be revealed in due course.
The timing is also curious.
Not that long ago, Kaepernick was a star player on one of the NFL’s best teams. A case could certainly be made that he would have had more influence then. By his own words, the problems he’s protesting are not new.
It’s puzzling that he’s waited until now when he, already a fringe roster player on one of the NFL’s worst teams, has very little to lose to become an activist.
But ultimately, the fight for racial equality is a noble one — even if sitting during the National Anthem is not.
Harbaugh did well to clarify that.