Rodney Harrison apologizes for Colin Kaepernick comment

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Plenty of people have been saying plenty of things about 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in recent days. Some of those things have been smart, and some of them haven’t been smart.

NBC’s Rodney Harrison has become one of the few who said something not smart about Kaepernick to admit it.

Harrison appeared on SportsTalk 790 in Houston on Tuesday. In addressing the Kaepernick situation, Harrison suggested that Kaepernick isn’t black.

“I tell you this, I’m a black man,” Harrison said, via Deadspin. “And Colin Kaepernick, he’s not black. He cannot understand what I face and what other young black men and black people face, or people of color face, on a every single [day] basis. When you walk in a grocery store . . . and you might have $2,000 or $3,000 in your pocket and you go up into a Foot Locker and they’re looking at you like you about to steal something. . . . I’m not saying that he has to be black. I said his heart is in the right place, but even with what he’s doing, he still doesn’t understand the injustices that we face as a black man or people of color, that’s what I’m saying.”

Harrison later addressed the situation on Twitter, with an apology to Kaepernick.

“I should not have called Colin Kaepernick’s race into question during this morning’s radio interview,” Harrison said. “It was a mistake and I apologize. . . . I never even knew he was mixed [race]. . . . I never intended to offend anyone, I was trying to speak about my experiences as a African-American.”

Kudos to Rodney for admitting his mistake and apologizing for it. It’s a good example of how to handle the situations that inevitably arise for people who talk on a regular basis for a living, and who are committed to sharing their beliefs on any topic about which they are asked.

Sometimes, those beliefs are based on an inaccurate understanding of the facts. When that happens, quickly acknowledging the error and owning it is the best way to go.

70 responses to “Rodney Harrison apologizes for Colin Kaepernick comment

  1. Haha, his birth mom is cracking on Kap too. Blacks blaming him on whites, whites blaming him on blacks. Probably the blame should be shared equally. In a fair and just society.

  2. I don’t get why people even care.

    National Anthems and Flags and borders are all artificial things created by hairless apes with power and massive egos for propaganda purposes from past centuries. Funny to watch people pick sides on this silly subject and defend it with weird positions and saying that don’t really reflect the realities of 2016.

  3. “…and you might have $2,000 or $3,000 in your pocket and you go up into a Foot Locker and they’re looking at you like you about to steal something. ”
    ==================================
    Maybe they’re not really looking at you that way, maybe you’ve just been raised with a ‘victim’ mentality, so you imagine that people look at you that way. Maybe people just look at you like a person in a store who is there to buy something.

    How do you know what “You’re about to steal something” look, looks like? Maybe you’re just paranoid. Seek professional help.

  4. Why does Harrison still have a job? Of course, I could have asked that before his stupid comments about Kapernick… but seriously, this diatribe goes beyond stupid to being something that shouldn’t come out of the mouth of a reasonable human being.

  5. Where is this grocery store that also has a Foot Locker?
    I wanna know so I can do grocery and shoe shopping in one stop.

  6. minnesotablizzard says:
    Aug 30, 2016 6:21 PM
    I don’t get why people even care.

    National Anthems and Flags and borders are all artificial things created by hairless apes with power and massive egos for propaganda purposes from past centuries. Funny to watch people pick sides on this silly subject and defend it with weird positions and saying that don’t really reflect the realities of 2016.
    —-
    Finally a sign on intelligence in the comments section!

  7. I understand he’s your bff and all but that comment was indefensible.

    Leave it to Rodney Harrison, one of the biggest tools in broadcasting, to make me dude with kapernick.

  8. minnesotablizzard says:
    Aug 30, 2016 6:21 PM
    I don’t get why people even care.

    National Anthems and Flags and borders are all artificial things created by hairless apes with power and massive egos for propaganda purposes from past centuries. Funny to watch people pick sides on this silly subject and defend it with weird positions and saying that don’t really reflect the realities of 2016.
    —-
    Finally a sign of intelligence in the comments section!

  9. Harrison is an absolute idiot. All bark no bite! If faced these issues, nfl’s national anthem would have been the perfect platform to make a stand (to bring attention to those who are in poverty and call out hypocrisy). Kap has way more heart than you ever had you coward.

  10. Maybe he was looking in someones foot locker and not really at Foot Locker. Maybe that’s why they were looking at him like he was gong to steal something. I can see how he could get that confused like not knowing Kap is mixed.

  11. .
    ” When you walk in a grocery store . . . and you might have $2,000 or $3,000 in your pocket and you go up into a Foot Locker and they’re looking at you like you about to steal something. . . .”

    When I walk into a grocery (or any other stores for that matter) in metro Tampa, a third of the customers are white, a third are black and a third are Hispanic. Different regions have different issues.
    .

  12. He needs to be fired immediately. The only reason he hasn’t already been fired is BECAUSE HE IS BLACK. If a white person would have said what Harrison said they would be gone or else the blow back would be 100X worse by now until they were fired.
    How’s that for a double standard..

  13. I don’t think anyone opposes what Kaepernick thinks needs to be changed. I think people question his choice of vehicle for conveying what he thinks due to his implying large numbers of innocent people are being gunned down by police. While I agree there have been some controversial situations, they are few compared with the incredible amount of violence and cold blooded murder going on in urban areas which passes without much comment from him, or the main stream media (the 6 outlets controlling the spin on your “news”). They also question whether he understands the great progress we have had and the opportunities afforded to us all to be so blessed as to have been born here, or immigrated here. That great progress seems to have faltered the last few years though. I personally believe that there are those in the political world that seek to stir up racial controversy as part of an overall campaign strategy, and he may have fallen into that trap. Former NFL player Burgess Owens has a great take on this, and also has a book out on the subject. Google “Burgess Owens Book.”

  14. Kaepernick has only been a turd for 3 plus years. He has a long way to go to catch Harrisons length of turdism.

  15. Certainly a bad look for Rodney, who uncharacteristically stepped in it this time. He shot from the hip before the other guy drew.

    Common sense would say that CK is at least of mixed ethnic origin and may have it worse in that he looks Middle Eastern/Arabian. To say he’s not black was reckless and irresponsible.

    Thanks for apologizing and sharing your perspective Rodney but do your homework first before throwing gas on the fire.

  16. Harrison is keeping it real. He’s basically calling him a fraud. I knew the PC police would be on the phone with him after that tweet though. You most definitely can’t challenge another person’s blackness. Or like the white guy who’s 1/16 Cherokee claiming he’s Native American and fine with being called a redskin. Can’t challenge that either. My god this world is soft now.

  17. Harrison’s apology doesn’t even make sense. First of all, how can he say that he was only trying to talk about his own experiences as a black man, when he directly states that Kaepernick can’t understand what he (Harrison) goes through? Also, Harrison states that he didn’t know that Kapernick was of mixed race… so is that supposed to mean that if Harrison had known that, he wouldn’t have said anything or would have said it differently? Because that doesn’t make what Harrison said any more palatable.

  18. The only reason why Harrison apologized was because the network made him or because if he didn’t he would have lost his job and second people on twitter was roasting his ass….

  19. What is the big deal about not recognizing someone’s race anyway? The Perpetually Offended continue to dominate the media landscape.

    OMG! Did you hear what happened?! Rodney Harrison didn’t even know Colin Kaepernick was part black!! Incredible!!! I’m soooooo outraged!!!!

    Can it.

  20. “Probably the dumbest comment yet to take the cake from all of the white idiots who still can’t tell me why they oppose what Kaepernick said he wants to see changed.”

    Why is it that predominately black neighborhoods are usually the most crime riddled in major cities? Own what some folks of your race do, and quit blaming others for perceived slights. Why is it that blacks feel slighted, and yet Asians don’t feel the same way? They’re an even smaller minority in this country.

    What Harrison said what nothing new, and just the token black athlete comment, on a major network.

  21. Why is Harrison apologizing.

    Krappernick made it all about race. It was a very loud and clear racist skreed that he uttered.

    Krappernick should be the one apologizing and then fired.

  22. Man, dragging Foot Locker into this. I think he owes them an apology. Sounds like somebody needs “Sensitivity Training.”

  23. Rodney when you wear your hat sideways and pants around your ankles every store will look at you like your going to steal something if your white or black.

  24. lanman11 ,

    That’s a sorry copout. People said they were against him because he was disrespecting the military, something I criticized him for because the military isn’t part of the politics of the country addressing these issues that he was protesting. They just take orders from whoever is in power. However, he was very articulate in saying what he had problems with. Anyone still trying to make it about the military when he explicitly said he was not aiming it at the military is just using that as a convenient cop out because we’ve seen others speak on these issues and get criticized the same way without sitting down during the anthem or anything like that. So either you support the garbage going on that he said he wants changed or you don’t. Simple as that. I don’t. Do you? If you do, you’re a coward.

  25. When you walk in a grocery store . . . and you might have $2,000 or $3,000 in your pocket and you go up into a Foot Locker and they’re looking at you like you about to steal something.
    _____________________

    You ever stop to think that the reason you might get dirty or worried looks is because the last time, or few times, they got robbed was by a person who fits your description? Just the same way a white emo male in a black trench coat is going to get the same looks, or how about the millions of Afghani or Muslims Americans who get the same treatment because of what they look like? Quit playing the whoa is me card…. It’s not just you. It’s called fear, and there’s a reason for it.

  26. landroo says:
    Aug 30, 2016 6:38 PM

    Common sense would say that CK is at least of mixed ethnic origin and may have it worse in that he looks Middle Eastern/Arabian. To say he’s not black was reckless and irresponsible.

    You said yourself(and I and plenty of others agree)he looks arabic or something…If you didnt know better would you think he was black or even half black?

    Your post is kind of contradictory…you say he looks arabic but it’s dumb for someone else to think he’s not black…what?

  27. We can all thank Kap for helping us remember that the flag stands for Patriotism and not Racism and at the same time make it a symbol or racism.

  28. jrebar88 says:
    Aug 30, 2016 6:29 PM

    minnesotablizzard says:
    Aug 30, 2016 6:21 PM
    I don’t get why people even care.

    National Anthems and Flags and borders are all artificial things created by hairless apes with power and massive egos for propaganda purposes from past centuries. Funny to watch people pick sides on this silly subject and defend it with weird positions and saying that don’t really reflect the realities of 2016.
    —-
    Finally a sign on intelligence in the comments section!

    _________

    Actually no there are two idiots on this page. Hairless apes….really. You really should have said speaking hairless apes! Now both of you go back to being mammals.

  29. howiehandles ,
    Probably from the same problem that’s spreading through rural white America right now champ, they lost jobs decades ago and turned to substance abuse in their hopeless situations. Books, you should read them, instead of having people tell you dumb stuff to regurgitate. But you probably believe that all black people live in or come from said urban areas from your ignorant posts.

  30. The first time I saw Kaep at Nevada and then saw his parents I was wondering what the deal was. I was curious about the grand parents. Not that race matters it was just obvious he was mixed. So to me Harrison is a complete moron. And yes, stop making excuses because he works for NBC. He’s stupid.

  31. He’s just lacking intellectually. Fire da bum

    CAnt believe a guy as dumb as him got a job at Nbc

    Had to be Kraft who greased that through

  32. realfootballfan says:
    Aug 30, 2016 6:23 PM
    Probably the dumbest comment yet to take the cake from all of the white idiots who still can’t tell me why they oppose what Kaepernick said he wants to see changed.
    ……………………
    Well, that’s a racist comment if I’ve ever heard one. Maybe you should have read all the comments. Many are saying that things need to change, but it’s not a one way street. Everyone, not just white people, needs to look in the mirror, and see if they are part of the problem..if they are, then they need to figure out how become part of the solution. Everyone’s perceptions are different, for instance, you don’t think a white person walking down the street in Chicago’s south side feels uneasy?

  33. thetooloftools says:
    Aug 30, 2016 6:37 PM
    He needs to be fired immediately. The only reason he hasn’t already been fired is BECAUSE HE IS BLACK. If a white person would have said what Harrison said they would be gone or else the blow back would be 100X worse by now until they were fired.
    How’s that for a double standard..
    ==================

    What??!! If a white guy said it?? What white guy would say that? You really are a tool.

  34. Agree with maust1013 100%

    the funny thing is he gets praised in the article for apologizing. You got to like a system where someone sez something racist and then comes out smell like a rose after just because he apologizes. Jimmy the Greek is rolling over in his grave

  35. maust1013 says:
    Aug 30, 2016 7:44 PM
    thetooloftools says:
    Aug 30, 2016 6:37 PM
    He needs to be fired immediately. The only reason he hasn’t already been fired is BECAUSE HE IS BLACK. If a white person would have said what Harrison said they would be gone or else the blow back would be 100X worse by now until they were fired.
    How’s that for a double standard..
    ==================

    What??!! If a white guy said it?? What white guy would say that? You really are a tool.

    ———————————-
    Well how about the guy that’s running for president.

  36. No apology needed. Rodney Harrison is correct. Colin Kaepernick never saw the real black experience. He doesn’t necessarily look black. He grew up in a wealthy neighborhood with white parents. He lives as a millionaire today. Why does this punk know about growing up in poverty, going to second rate schools, living in a dangerous neighborhood? Kaepernick has never experienced those things. Why is he lecturing us about what “really going on out there”?

  37. Thank you Rodney, for the helmet catch that is. Good to see you’re news worthy again.

  38. steelpenguin6687 ,
    No, I read quite a few of them the other day talking about urban area black on black crime, teen pregnancy, and other nonsense that had nothing to do with what he was addressing.

  39. How long is this silliness going to go on. Enough already. PFT and all the other outlets just need to stop. Are we going to go through all of this next week too when he sits again?

    He can sit on the crapper for all I care. I didn’t like his bicep kissing personality before this, why should I care about his sensitive little butt now?

  40. Kaepernick has cemented his legacy as being a loser. To what depths he will go is anyone’s guess. The more liberal in society seem to have an odd view of reality and support Kaepernick. It is what it is. POLITICAL.

    Minnesota might be desperate enough to sign Kaepernick now. And the Minneapolis area is as liberal as it gets. Kaepernick could run for office. They elected a comedian to office there, why not some bicep kissing idiot?

  41. realfootballfan says:
    Aug 30, 2016 8:31 PM
    steelpenguin6687 ,
    No, I read quite a few of them the other day talking about urban area black on black crime, teen pregnancy, and other nonsense that had nothing to do with what he was addressing.
    ———–
    I think the frustration of a lot of people is that it is hypocritical to blame all of the problems on one set of people, and then never address the other issues. I mean, to me, what he said was very racist. When he said “country” it was easy to infer what set of people he was talking about. You know, when the same drum keeps getting beat, it starts falling on deaf ears.

    But, we can agree to disagree, I guess.

  42. thermalito says:
    Aug 30, 2016 8:22 PM
    No apology needed. Rodney Harrison is correct. Colin Kaepernick never saw the real black experience. He doesn’t necessarily look black. He grew up in a wealthy neighborhood with white parents. He lives as a millionaire today. Why does this punk know about growing up in poverty, going to second rate schools, living in a dangerous neighborhood? Kaepernick has never experienced those things. Why is he lecturing us about what “really going on out there”?

    ——————————————————————

    I’m with you man, I’m mixed myself, (mothers black fathers white) I have Kap’s skin tone and hair, I’ve lived half my like on the east coast and the other half on the west coast. Since I’ve lived on the west coast I’ve been mistaken for Hispanic countless times, no one out here except for a couple of out of towners or someone who had the same mix as me, knew right off the bat what I was. I’ve seen peoples attitudes change towards me for the better when they found out what I really was and wondered “wait who is this person I’m talking to now?”

    On the east coast, I ran into more people who had an idea of what I was because my mix was more common on the east coast.. My point is, if no one knew who Kap was, I guarantee you he hasn’t had to deal with the same things Rodney had to growing up because few if any would associate him with being a black man on face value, yet he’s taking a stand on it.. I for one have not had to deal with the same things my sisters and brother on my mothers side had to deal with..

    So I can understand why many blacks out there, while they applaud what Kap is standing for, aren’t going to view him as one of their own because on face value alone he does not fit the profile of an oppressed African American. Life, at times, can be about image..

  43. is this what we have become? speak your mind, then apologize for it later. this is turning into a strange feedback loop that is killing freedom of expression because someone’s feelings might get hurt. this is especially true of those on the far ends of the spectrum.

  44. I like this approach. We should all take a step back and look at where the man is coming from.

    As a military veteran, I cannot honestly say that I haven’t been frustrated with this country that I wanted to stand out in parade formation in full dress uniform in 104+ temperatures and didn’t cuss out that damn anthem, but I stood strong…

    .. I cannot also say that I haven’t cussed out that anthem as I’m sitting home alone missing my fellow military members who gave their life when I didn’t….

    It’s a matter of what you have been through. I’m not a black male in this country. Kap wasn’t a military member. We’re both part of this country and all the issues that come with it.

    I applaud Rod’s apology on this situation. It’s time for cooler heads to prevail ACROSS THE BOARD and try and work this sh1t out.

    In the end, I stood there in 104+ Texas temps in a full suit and passed out. I’m sure Kap can stand up and do the same, then make your point known in another way.

  45. “Kudos to Rodney for admitting his mistake and apologizing for it. It’s a good example of how to handle the situations that inevitably arise for people who talk on a regular basis for a living, and who are committed to sharing their beliefs on any topic about which they are asked.”

    Jimmy the Greek and AL Campanis agree and expect a termination by tomorrow.

  46. steelpenguin6687 ,
    Tell me, why do you think someone is personally blaming you? Because someone is telling you about what’s going on, that makes you feel like they’re blaming you? So instead of looking into why these things have happened to minorities, you’d rather fall back on the crutch that somebody is blaming you. Pretty weak my man. I’m telling you that minorities are sick of government-sponsored vessels not only treating them differently but basically being told that it’s okay. So you don’t have a problem with that? Where in that does it apply personally to you unless you’re okay with it? So when a minority tells you yes, housing discrimination is real, your answer is I don’t want to hear about it because they’re blaming me instead of saying this is wrong, I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anybody? When minorities up and down the socioeconomic scale from all walks of life tell you that they have had a whole different experience with police and thus have a different perspective on police, you fall back to they’re blaming me instead of saying wow, maybe there is something to this if I see black men getting shot on video and even have prominent politicians who couldn’t be more different in ideology like Tim Scott and Eric Holder telling you that it’s different for them when they leave the house to go for a ride, and I don’t want my country to continue allowing this. What can I do to help? That’s a pretty sorry way to cop out and allow it to keep happening if so.

  47. Always have liked Rodney. He was part of the on-going 15-year Great Belichick / Brady Dynasty. Looks like they’re primed for another run at it this year. Belichick won’t stay at it forever, but man it’s been fun while we had him.

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