Jim Harbaugh: Kaepernick’s protests should be celebrated

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Former 49ers coach (and current Michigan coach) Jim Harbaugh has praised the football abilities of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Harbaugh now says Kaepernick’s non-football activities should be praised, too.

“Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem,” Harbaugh writes in Time as part of its recognition of him the magazine’s decision to name Kaepernick one of the 100 most influential persons in the word. “At times in our nation’s history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

“Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or — most important — harming our own personal interests.”

A belief that Kaepernick is currently being blackballed sneaks out from between the lines of the four-paragraph tribute.

“I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate,” Harbaugh writes “I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

“How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.”

Harbaugh’s current words carry a much different message than his remarks from last August, after Kaepernick began his protest.

“I acknowledge his right to do that, but I don’t respect the motivation or the action,” Harbaugh said on August 29, He later clarified those sentiments, but his support was still equivocal: “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,” Harbaugh said via Twitter that same day.

Today, nearly eight months later, Harbaugh is all in. Unfortunately, none of his former NFL peers seem to be.

59 responses to “Jim Harbaugh: Kaepernick’s protests should be celebrated

  1. People have just as much right to criticize Colin for kneeling as he had right to kneel. We are under no obligation to applaud actions with which we personally disagree.

  2. well said…I respect the man’s right to speak and protest…I’m very very afraid of those people that hate him for doing so

  3. He is not being celebrated?

    It’s easy to argue that almost universally anyone with the means to make their opinion known to the masses (sports writers, tv personalities, broadcasters, etc) has celebrated him.

  4. It’s all about recruiting….he says something critical about him and guess what…..political correctness…….

  5. “I wonder if he was still an NFL head coach if he’d be saying any of these things with his employer lurking behind”

    Of course not, which is even more proof that the average person cares about their paycheck more than the injustices that others go through.

  6. I don’t want anyone on the team I root for to use this method of protest. I respect the message but now hate the messenger. There is a right way and wrong way to do many things. If you want people to support a message or a cause, this isn’t how you are going to get it.

  7. First time I’ve ever agreed with Harbaugh. A lot of people forget this country was founded on protest. And if you’d asked the British in the 1770’s what they thought of that I’m sure you would have gotten things like –

    “Damn them for not respecting King and country”

    “Arrest those traitors”

    And many similar sentiments. The ability to protest without fear is a significant part of the foundation of this country, as long as the protest is done peacefully.

  8. It’s not his cause that people have as much of an issue with – it’s the manner by which he brought attention to his message.

    #norespect

  9. We get it jim, only problem is Kap is a football player not a civil rights change agent. Oh wait, it looks like he is not a football player anymore.. I guess you have a point. Kap played himself out of league by changing professions during football season lolol

  10. Well stated elyasm. Mr. Kaepernick has a right to protest and people have a right to disagree with him in a respectful manner. That’s called democracy. God bless America.

  11. Right above the exit door at my place of employment is an American flag. If I disrespected that flag on the way out, they’d send me down the road kicking a can. Just as I have the right to do anything I want to that flag, my employer has the right to manage me right out the door.

    Kapernick has been managed right out the door.

  12. harrisonhits2 says:
    Apr 20, 2017 4:24 PM
    First time I’ve ever agreed with Harbaugh. A lot of people forget this country was founded on protest. And if you’d asked the British in the 1770’s what they thought of that I’m sure you would have gotten things like –

    “Damn them for not respecting King and country”

    “Arrest those traitors”

    And many similar sentiments. The ability to protest without fear is a significant part of the foundation of this country, as long as the protest is done peacefully.

    ……;..;………………………………….

    You can protest all you want when you’re not on the clock. Would you pull a stunt like that at your place of employment?

  13. Jims been going hard left politically lately I guess he figures since Urban Meyer is a Republican he might as well be a younger Bernie Sanders to all the snowflake children out there

  14. Today, nearly eight months later, Harbaugh is all in. Unfortunately, none of his former NFL peers seem to be.

    ——————————–

    huh? what does this mean? I’ve heard plenty of his “peers” come out in support of him. Or do you mean GM’s?

  15. “At times in our nation’s history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.”

    He’s right. It’s the greatest irony about this country but also the greatest part.

  16. The guy had the right under the Constitution.

    But his non-employers have a right to not hire him because he will drive fans away.

    The ego of these big children that earn $100 million to play a GAME. If we gave the guy a pass at insulting America, every creep influenced by one of hundreds of “causes” would be pooping on the 50 yard line before the game.

  17. My opinion of Hairbaugh continue to fall. Applaud no, celebrate no, Kaepernick had the right to do as he waned I also have the right to my thoughts of his actions. Hairbaugh uses his name to want us to celebrate, no way, I celebrate the individuals that gave their lives so a person of Kaepernick type can spit on them as his actions proved. If he wants to protest, how about quit your job and go out on the street and do something about the actions you don’t care for. Then we can celebrate.

  18. People pay hard earned money to attend these games, and to have a millionaire disrespect a flag people died defending because he feels oppressed living in the safety that sacrifice provided in order to play a kid’s game for a living is more than a little ridiculous. Lots of people engage in political activities in their free time, that’s in fact one of the nice things about America. But this guy decided to do it at his workplace while protected from a captive audience by the very police he was insulting. He was wrong to do it.

  19. elyasm says:
    Apr 20, 2017 4:14 PM
    People have just as much right to criticize Colin for kneeling as he had right to kneel. We are under no obligation to applaud actions with which we personally disagree.
    ======

    Perfectly put. You have every right to criticize him and even to refuse to support him or any team that would hire him.

    What people don’t have a right to do is threaten him or demand that he leave the country. Those things are far more Un-American and IMO far more disrespectful to those who gave their lives to protect our Freedom than someone who protested a symbol.

  20. Flyover country basking in their own ignorance and intolerance. And the uneducated unwashed masses don’t even realize it. You respectfully disagreed with Kaepernick? No, you did the opposite.

  21. Yes, Kaepernick being blackballed should be celebrated. Because someone peacefully protesting in a way that doesn’t agree with white mainstream America should be punished. Thanks for making my point.

  22. In a couple weeks we’ll see how many franchises trade up to draft 2nd + 4th round qbs on day1.

    Kap may yet wind up on a roster before season end.

    If not, I hear the Mets farm league doesn’t mind a spectacle.

  23. Colin is being shunned for exercising his constitutional right of free expression but there is more to it than just that. He is being reviled because of his skin color.

  24. I agree that Colin has been treated unfairly. We’ve got a whole bunch of twisted opinions that somehow get to throw their two cents in. We’d still be in Vietnam if not for protesters.

  25. There is nothing bold or courageous about making a pointless, , pathetic, unAmerican gesture.

    Our flag stands for what is good in the world. People who don’t celebrate it deserve all the ridicule they get. At minimum.

  26. Harbaugh is now rewording his feelings as he is more fully entrenched in the snowflake liberal land of higher ed – and his employers embrace Kap’s kind of action.

    So of course he is changing his tune from what he said last year when Kap initially decided to act out like a little school girl – “I acknowledge his right to do that, but I don’t respect the motivation or the action.”

    I served in the military for 6 years – from 1972 – 1978. I strongly support the freedom of speech.

    I still don’t like what Kap did and I sure wouldn’t consider celebrating what he did.

    There is a difference between supporting freedom of speech and celebrating the misguided use of it.

  27. In the most American of sports, anti-American actions won’t be accepted and celebrated by most. There were other ways to get his point across without using the Anthem as his opportunity.

  28. Harbaugh has re-entered the fantasy-land of academia. He is totally out-of-touch with working class, patriotic Americans.

    Thank God this bigmouth is out of the NFL!

    Kaepernick is black-balled, Jim. No owner wants that cancer on his team. Get over it. As soon as this jerk disrespected America and Americans, his mediocre NFL career came to a screeching halt. He’s now just another Ray Rice.

  29. “You can bet that the men and women we honor today, and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago, never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played,” he said.

    Pacific Command Commander Harry Harris on the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

  30. The ‘misguided’ use of free speech? Do you people seriously even listen to yourselves? That’s not patriotism.

  31. tedmurph says:
    Apr 20, 2017 5:07 PM
    Flyover country basking in their own ignorance and intolerance. And the uneducated unwashed masses don’t even realize it. You respectfully disagreed with Kaepernick? No, you did the opposite.

    ————————————————————————–
    I really don’t care what Keapernick did, but I think he’s a lousy football player.
    Some of the same posters who blast Robert Griffin for being a one trick pony (and live in the progressive bubbles of the coasts-immune to logic, facts, and common sense) are pretending that this guy Kapernick-Robert Griffin lite- is the second coming of Joe Montana and is being blackballed for being, well, as self unaware as a person could be.
    It’s just not true. He’s a below average player with above average baggage.

  32. True enough but that wasn’t my point about Kaepernick. But to use a better example, RRice was washed up before that stuff but the fan. I can’t believe. Kaepernick couldn’t help someone. If he wants to play FB anymore.

  33. “Perceived inequalities” = Kaepernick losing starting job to Gabbert.

    If that never happened there would’ve been no protests. It was all about Colin and nobody else.

  34. Agree or disagree, he put his career on line for his beliefs. Unless you’ve done the same, you don’t have the right to criticize.

  35. Coach H has been hanging around too many liberal professors at Michigan. I have zero respect for anyone that disrespects the American Flag and our National Anthem. I also have zero respect for anyone that supports those unpatriotic actions by others. I guess coach H wants to be blackballed by the NFL also. If so, he’s off to a good start. SMSgt, USAF Retired

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