Colin Kaepernick has guided the San Francisco 49ers to three straight NFC Championship Games, including one Super Bowl appearance, but he still finds himself as the center of a great deal of criticism.
Kaepernick believes that criticism is unwarranted and comes from a very dark and ignorant place in a conversation he had with former NFL quarterback Chris Simms on Bleacher Report.
“Stereotypes, prejudice,” Kaepernick said. “Whatever you want to call it. I think between the tattoos, the way I dress, the way I talk. People don’t think it should go together with a franchise quarterback or something that’s leading the team or representing the organization.”
I’m certain that there are people who criticize Kaepernick for all the wrong reasons, but I don’t recall seeing too much of that in the media.
Sure there was the chatter about his tattoos a couple years ago, which ended up making those concerns look foolish when Kaepernick revealed he had bible verses tattooed on his arms.
Criticize Kaepernick for kissing his biceps after he scores a touchdown? Sure, people get criticized for celebrations that draw attentions to themselves on a routine basis. That’s not a prejudice or stereotype.
Kaepernick, however, was criticized for the contract he signed earlier this offseason that at first glance looked like the 49ers overpaid for their quarterback, but when you broke down the numbers, the 49ers are getting a bargain and a very team-friendly deal.
The contract is essentially a pay-as-you-go deal, but Kaepernick tells Simms it was a good deal for both paties.
“I think it’s a great deal for both sides,” Kaepernick told Simms. “The NFL is a performance-based business. So you should have to perform to earn some of your money.”
Criticism is part of the territory as a professional athlete and let’s hope that what is heaped Kaepernick’s way is not rooted in stereotypes or prejudice.