On Friday, photos emerged of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick wearing a Dolphins hat. It created a stir on a fairly slow news day, but nothing all that major.
And then Kaepernick decided to defiantly defend his decision to wear the hat, making a minor blip into a much bigger story.
“This the hat y’all mad at?” Kaeperick said on his Instagram account. “I’m goin wear what I want regardless of what you think, all you need to worry about is the fact that I grind for my teammates and the 49ers! I plan on doin this until they won’t let me in the building! #ridiculous#y’allmustbebored.”
They’re not bored, Colin. They’re fans.
No true fan wants to see any member of the fan’s favorite team wearing another team’s colors. And no true fan wants to be lectured by the player who commits one of the few cardinal sins of sports.
In some cities with multiple pro sports teams, it’s bad enough for a player from one sport to wear the logo and colors of a rival team in a completely different sport. In Pittsburgh, for example, former Pirates outfielder Barry Bonds created a signifiant pre-Internet stir by wearing a Los Angeles Kings jacket. More recently, LeBron James wore a Yankees hat to an Indians game when James played for the Cavaliers.
Here, the 49ers quarterback brazenly wore a hat reflecting the name and logo of another NFL team. While it would be far worse if it were a Seahawks, Cardinals, Rams, or Ravens hat, it’s enough to get 49ers fans worked up — and Kaepernick’s response won’t help matters.
Speaking of the Seahawks, can anyone imagine quarterback Russell Wilson — who ends every interview with “Go ‘Hawks!” — wearing anything other than his team’s colors?
None of it will matter if Kaepernick keeps playing like he did last year. But if/when he ever slips, some fans could be inclined to be less than blindly loyal to Kaepernick.