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Chip Kelly has Colin Kaepernick’s back, says he’s not a distraction

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick warms up for the team's NFL preseason football game against the San Diego Chargers, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy) AP

Colin Kaepernick has become the most visible backup quarterback in the NFL, with a political stance that has landed him on the cover of TIME magazine.

But 49ers coach Chip Kelly has no problem with any of that, and said he supported the way Kaepernick has handled his business.

When he’s here, he’s going full-bore,” Kelly said, via Matt Maiocco of “We’re here until 8:15, when we get here in the morning, until 5, when we leave. He’s at every meeting. He’s done everything.

“There hasn’t been any, ‘Hey, coach, I need some time because I got this going on.’ He hasn’t done that. He understands what his job is. He’s balanced it really well, and he’s managed it really well. He’s focused. He’s dialed-in when we’re at practice. He’s dialed-in when we’re at meetings.”

Kelly has consistently supported Kaepernick’s decision to sit or stand through the national anthem to protest police brutality and unfair treatment of minorities, and doesn’t expect his players to divorce themselves from current events.

“I think it’s an issue – you look at what’s gone on in Tulsa and Charlotte in the last two nights,” Kelly said. “It’s an issue that’s at the forefront of our country and it needs to be addressed, needs to be taken care of, because what’s going on is not right.

“I think he’s shedding light on a situation that is heinous. It shouldn’t happen in this country. We all have inalienable rights as a citizen of this country that are being violated. That’s what I think Colin is standing up for.”

Not every coach would welcome a player becoming a focal point for non-football issues, especially a backup player. But Kelly has proven himself willing to go against the grain on other issues, so this probably shouldn’t be a complete surprise.

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19 Responses to “Chip Kelly has Colin Kaepernick’s back, says he’s not a distraction”
  1. thelastwordyaheard says: Sep 22, 2016 4:46 PM

    He would’ve been cut weeks ago had that buffoon Jed York not signed off on $12mil guaranteed for this season ..say what you want about Harbaugh, but it speaks to his coaching skill that he was able to make this scrub look like a legitimate NFL QB.

  2. natelan says: Sep 22, 2016 4:47 PM

    Wow, cheers coach. Not sure if I believe you that you’re telling the truth about how you feel, but if you are being sincere, then I actually respect you so much more now.

  3. claudegirwho says: Sep 22, 2016 4:50 PM

    Chip kelly has to repair his racist image so what better way then this?

  4. pittsburgh84 says: Sep 22, 2016 4:51 PM

    its easier to deal with when its the 3rd string QB

  5. mackcarrington says: Sep 22, 2016 4:52 PM

    Oh,no! Chip Kelly understands and supports Colin Kaepernick! Here come all the people who suddenly decide they don’t like Chip Kelly now.
    (grabs extra large popcorn).

  6. i thumbs down your comment says: Sep 22, 2016 4:56 PM

    Colin will be kneeling up in Seattle, specifically when the 49ers are in victory formation.

  7. bobthebillsfan says: Sep 22, 2016 5:08 PM

    When I look at that picture i wonder how he gets his helmet on.

  8. xevious02 says: Sep 22, 2016 5:09 PM

    The ratings keep tumbling but you keep promoting this guy. Sooner or later you will see the link.

  9. johnqlunchbox says: Sep 22, 2016 5:35 PM

    Chip Kelly is right. Kaepernick is not a distraction. He’s just dumber than a bag of hammers. There’s a difference.

  10. tebowislife says: Sep 22, 2016 5:35 PM

    Understandable that Chip backs him. Chip knows what it’s like to be an insufferable buffoon.

  11. vikings1234 says: Sep 22, 2016 5:42 PM

    Once he gets the helmet on I wonder if he can hear anything.

  12. snakeplizkn says: Sep 22, 2016 5:44 PM

    Chip understood Lesean McCoy and Desean Jackson too…..pack your bags Kap, your playing in Ottawa next year.

  13. rdjess says: Sep 22, 2016 6:10 PM

    Kaepernick not a distraction!?

    Two dozen reporters and camera guys circling around Kap as he kneels during the anthem and that’s not a distraction?

  14. charliecharger says: Sep 22, 2016 6:23 PM

    In America, the strong stand up for the weak. The NFL has some of the strongest men in America. It’s not surprising that so many of these young men are standing up for the weakest folks in society. That’s what Jesus did.

  15. manderson4150 says: Sep 22, 2016 6:30 PM

    Blue lives matter

  16. PhD says: Sep 22, 2016 6:36 PM

    Chip is in denial or delusional if he doesn’t recognize that it’s a distraction to the football. No matter how noble or necessary Kap’s cause is it still has got nothing to do with football.

  17. natelan says: Sep 22, 2016 7:20 PM

    The white, female officer responsible for killing an unarmed black male in Tulsa, OK a couple of days ago, has just been issued a warrant for her arrest, by her own employer, for the crime of 1st degree manslaughter.

  18. cuda1234 says: Sep 22, 2016 8:42 PM

    Trent Dilfer is right – backup qb’s should not be the center of attention. Kap is taking a page out of the Tim Tebow playbook – screw the team and do whatever it takes to stay in the spotlight.

  19. goldrush36 says: Sep 22, 2016 9:09 PM

    Well it’s not like he can say Kap is. Once he does that, he will just be accused of being racist again.

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