The San Francisco 49ers are apologizing for leaving Colin Kaepernick out of a photo gallery, which celebrates the team’s history against the Green Bay Packers. While I’m not saying this is malicious in any way, it is highly interesting given everything that is going on with Kaepernick right now. The team posted dozens of photos on their website of past games against the Packers. This is in advance of the teams meeting again this coming week. But the initial photos didn’t include any of Kaepernick. Odd, right? The 49ers did later add Kaepernick to the photos. This is the first photo gallery the 49ers have run this year; pictures of Kaepernick were included in all seven galleries posted on the team’s website last year. This makes it sound more like an oversight, but you never know.
The 49ers made the following statement:
“Unfortunately there were a handful of obvious misses in this gallery posted by our website team and we appreciate them being brought to our attention. The 49ers organization has tremendous respect and gratitude for the contributions Colin made to our team over the years.”
I mean, I get it. There’s a chance that you will forget a player or two over the years, but Kaepernick isn’t one that they should forget. Especially not right now. So the question I posed before and will continue to pose is whether or not this was done on purpose. I’m not suggesting that it was. I am, however, saying that it’s kind of hard to forget Kaepernick. The team didn’t have to portray him in any particular light, but he is part of the team’s history, so he should be in the photos. The fact that he wasn’t is a pretty big oversight. Especially since he was a really great player. I say “was” because he hasn’t been picked up by another team since.
Further, Kaepernick has some pretty great stats against Green Bay. Kaepernick set an NFL record for quarterbacks by rushing for 181 yards in a playoff win over Green Bay on Jan. 12, 2013; threw for 413 yards in a season-opening win against the Packers in 2013; and led a winning drive in a playoff game in Green Bay on Jan. 5, 2014.
The 49ers went on to say:
“We have fond memories of those games and that should have been displayed on our website. This oversight does not properly reflect the appreciation our ownership and this team have for Colin.”
Is that true though? It might be. In 2016, the 49ers did support Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest for social and racial injustice. Further, they matched his $1 million contributions towards programs for social equality. Kaepernick opted out of his contract during the next offseason when the 49ers told him that they planned to cut him.
On the other side, though – Coach, Kyle Shanahan was asked about bringing Kaepernick back after starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a knee injury, which ended his season. Shanahan, however, said that Kaepernick didn’t fit their team’s offense, and that is why he is still not playing in the league. Whether this was done maliciously remains to be seen. Most of the signs point to no, but you never really know the full story.