Here is a link to my Tuesday column about Colin Kaepernick. The full text runs below:

If the 49ers were a movie, their offseason would be titled “Niners Gone Wild.”

No need to catalog all the wildness. Better to focus on the leading character in the movie. Colin Kaepernick. Quarterback. Face of the franchise.

It’s not the intention of this column to discuss his legal issues — if there even are legal issues. So much is vague and unrevealed. To come out against Kaepernick or against the woman in the hotel drama would be irresponsible and unfair to Kaepernick, to the woman and to the legal process.

None of that here.

But a serious point requires discussion — how Kaepernick presents himself, specifically how he chose to present himself to the public in the aftermath of what happened in that Miami hotel suite.

Colin Kaepernick Investigation — Cops Awaiting Toxicology Report


The woman at the heart of the Colin Kaepernick sexual assault investigation underwent toxicology tests and cops say they are still waiting for the results. Miami PD officials now…


The guy actually tweeted.


Yes, really. He wrote three tweets. The word “tweet” itself is trivial. The entire concept of tweeting is shallow — 140 characters for an entire thought. Downright irresponsible in this instance.

Here are Kaepernick’s three tweets combined as one for concision:

“The charges made in the TMZ story and other stories I’ve seen are completely wrong. They made things up about me that never happened. I take great pride in who I am and what I do, but I guess sometimes you have to deal with someone who makes things up. I want to thank all of the people who have shared their encouraging sentiments. I assure you that your faith is not misplaced.”

Let’s analyze the tweet matter slowly, methodically as though we were in an English class dissecting a poem. Kaepernick’s tweets are hardly poems, but let’s assume he wants us to take his words seriously.

The entire tweet thing is about him. At no time does he express the least particle of concern for the young woman in question, a woman who apparently woke up in a hospital alone and disoriented, with no knowledge of where she was or how she got there.

If Kaepernick were a gentleman, really a gentleman, his first tweeted words would have been about the apparent victim. He didn’t have to admit anything. Maybe there’s nothing to admit. He just needed to write words of care and empathy.

Forget about it.

Everything he wrote was about himself. The tweet material was self-serving to the max.

He said he takes great pride in who he is and what he does. What exactly does that mean? Does it mean he takes pride in being a celebrity, a professional athlete or a good person who strives to do the right thing? It’s unclear. In these tweets we see no evidence of Kaepernick trying to do the right thing.

He assures the public their faith in him is not misplaced.

What faith? Really, what faith is he talking about?

If he means the public’s faith in him as a quarterback that is way off the point. If he means the public’s faith in him as a good person and a responsible adult, well that is the subject of the debate. His lack of concern for the woman, his total preoccupation with himself makes you wonder what kind of person he is.

Look at one more tweet fragment: “I guess sometimes you have to deal with someone who makes things up.”

This one is hard to grasp. Is he saying the writer of the original TMZ article about the hotel incident made things up? If so, it would be good if he wrote another tweet explaining how the writer made things up. There is, after all, a police report. Nothing made up about that.

Or is he saying the woman made things up?

If he’s saying that, he needed to write more tweets explaining how. It’s crummy behavior to impugn a woman who arrived at a hospital alone and unconscious — and had apparently been unconscious previously in his presence.

He presents himself as the victim here. People are supposed to feel sorry for him.

No. No. No.

Here’s what Kaerpernick should have done. He had the option to keep his mouth shut — or in this case, his tweeter. If he felt the need to speak, there was only one way to do it.

He should have put on a tie and a dress suit. No baseball cap worn backwards. No looking like a teenager. None of that would suffice when the stakes are so high, when the issue is so grown up. He should have gone in front of a microphone and said what he had to say.

He should have expressed concern about the woman. He should have looked people in the eye. He should have spoken in complete sentences. He should have answered questions to the extent he could answer questions — this is an ongoing legal matter.

Mostly, he should have acted like a man and a gentleman.

He fell short by the distance of a football field.

For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at lowell.cohn@pressdemocrat.com.


Be Sociable, Share!



  1. Gary

    I find that people who need to express their faith so explicitly as Kaepernick does are most prone to falling short of virtuous behavior.

    April 15th, 2014 10:18 am

  2. Mark M

    Ah yes, here we go again. Let’s make Colin Kaepernick the man Lowell Cohn wants him to be, or feels he should be. I don’t know anything about this event, but acting a gentleman is a left field standard that doesn’t apply at all unless you assume he is guilty of something or this woman is a victim of something. I don’t know either. I know he needs to grow up and not allow himself to get into these situations. But the standard presented here is completely out in left field. I guess it is baseball season, so…

    April 15th, 2014 11:04 am

  3. Stan

    You could make an argument that a coach who is so convincing in his players having a us vs the world mentality,including the public,just might- MIGHT have a cause and effect on 20+ year old minds loaded on fame,money and adrenaline ( to name one) just pulsing through them. He might have some affect on the internal rudders.
    The Raiders lately have had mellow coaches . Not much winning,but internal serenity….

    April 15th, 2014 11:13 am

  4. Marisa

    Are you serious how about you wait for the facts Lowell before determining anything about this situation. Your post on Aldon said everyone should proceed with caution on judgment. Your as bad as TMZ

    April 15th, 2014 11:16 am

  5. Dennis

    In reflecting on your advice to Colin I can’t help thinking about the words of our great former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who said “At this point, what difference does it make?”

    Would you have liked him any better? How do you know what his feelings are for the girl or what the real situation was or is? Would wearing a suit make what he said any more important? How do you know if he did not do the right thing all along?

    Without the facts you should probably stick with twitter. 140 characters is all you need when you really don’t have that much to say.

    April 15th, 2014 12:10 pm

  6. htwaits

    The young lady made no charge of sexual assault, but you, with a Stanford PhD in English, repeated the same assumption made by the scandal journalist. I’ve noticed that you weren’t jumping into this story, and I thought that was a good thing. But now you’re are back to jumping, if somewhat delayed.

    The young man, who is reported to have invited the young lady to hang out, called 911 two times because the young lady wouldn’t get dressed and leave.

    There is no report of an investigation by the Miami police into a suspicious event until the young lady came forward 48 hours later. The responding officers included a team set up to handle similar incidents, and as far as we know they didn’t initiate an investigation. They called for the team that took her to the hospital.

    The toxicology and rape tests seem to have been done as a routine matter.

    The investigation was started 48 hours later when the young lady presented herself to the police with her concern about blacking out. As you know, the people around a person who is failing to retain short term memory, may know that that person is drunk but they would not know that the person was in a blackout state. The fact that the young lady can’t remember her trip to the hospital doesn’t automatically mean that she was unconscious.

    As for tweets, I hate them, but like you, I’m old and have no say in the kind of world that is developing. Kaepernick is under attack by the scandal press and he declared that they were lairs.

    I’m sure Kaepernick,s lawyers would have preferred that he do nothing at least until it’s determined if there will be any legal action in Miami, either from the police or the young lady.

    What’s clear is that you are affronted by those bums Harbaugh and Kaepernick.

    April 15th, 2014 12:10 pm

  7. Sanderhank

    Really? You must be full of hate for kap. Jealous much?

    April 15th, 2014 12:51 pm

  8. Brett

    I think HTwaits is right Lowell. You did not jump in on this one early and I thought it was a good thing. I think it is better not to speculate on this one. The only thing we do know he is guilty of is putting himself in a precarious position drinking and smoking dope with some naked girl.

    This girl could turn out to be a head case or his future wife for all we know.

    April 15th, 2014 1:47 pm

  9. B-Rad

    I’ve never read a tweet, but I thought that Kap’s combined
    tweets as you expressed them in your column were just fine.

    April 15th, 2014 1:54 pm

  10. Brady

    Well, your entire argument is founded on the premise that something bad happened to the woman, despite the fact that we have no idea of the validity of her claims.

    Should the Duke lacrosse team have apologized to the woman who falsely accused them of raping her?

    As for the “made things up” aspect, I believe that was directed at TMZ claiming that he was being investigated for sexual assault, when the police report mentioned no such thing.

    April 15th, 2014 2:04 pm

  11. CohnZohn

    Brady, Show me in my column where I wrote Kaepernick should apologize to the woman or to anyone.

    April 15th, 2014 2:20 pm

  12. Don

    #7 Is THE FACE OF THE SANTA CLARA NINERS, he should KNOW better! Alas with all his God Gifted running ability those 4 I REPEAT 4 MISSED FADE ROUTES TO CRABTREE cost THE SANTA CLARA 49ers An NFC Tittle And A 6th Super Bowl Ring! He needs to watch film on Montana And Young! Hey # 7 learn TO READ THE DEFENSES , how about looking off A safety AND NOT LOCKING ON CRABTREE, oh AND WHEN YOU PLAY SEATTLE DONT PASS TO RICHARD SHERMAN’s SIDE OF THE FIELD , earth to KAEP he IS THE BEST CORNER IN THE NFL! Oh 3 NFL players in A room At 12am smoking weed , with one woman beyond dumb!

    April 15th, 2014 2:22 pm

  13. Brett

    Didn’t like the YouTube Lowell? Just though folks might want to see where all the gun and knife action took place at the base of Mt. Hamilton. Al least I think that is where it is at.

    April 15th, 2014 3:20 pm

  14. CohnZohn

    Brett, I clicked on the link but it didn’t work.

    April 15th, 2014 4:11 pm

  15. Frank in Minnesota

    Maybe…the problem is in the leadership…seems as if too much immaturity is going around with the team…I find it hard to believe that a Walsh (or, Seifert) coached team would be this way…

    April 15th, 2014 4:20 pm

  16. mendozaline

    Reading about Sports in the local papers/websites is not always a downer.


    April 15th, 2014 4:50 pm

  17. Mr. Smith

    Really poor stuff here. This article smacks of willful ignorance meant to antagonize. Attacking Mr. Kaepernick’s character for his response (or lack thereof, apparently) to a falsified tabloid report is not impressive in the slightest – especially when the topic is sexual assault.

    April 15th, 2014 6:22 pm

  18. lameduck

    Has the gal tweeted or posted anything on her Facebook account? Is there a selfie of her and Kaep?

    April 15th, 2014 6:45 pm

  19. Stan

    Lowell,what did you think of the Pacman’s fight?

    April 15th, 2014 6:53 pm

  20. CohnZohn

    Stan, I didn’t watch the fight.

    April 15th, 2014 7:09 pm

  21. Johnc

    Anything Kaepernick says at this point can and will be used against him by the press or by a lawyer ready to sue him.
    It would be better if he did not extend concern to the young lady because his words will be twisted is some way and at this point we don’t know what happened.

    April 16th, 2014 12:21 am

  22. rkshanny

    #1. Numerous times I have been in the process of commenting only to have your webpage “refresh” itself and dump everything I’ve written before I can post it! REALLY annoying!

    #2. “There is, after all, a police report. Nothing made up about that.”
    Your naivete is stunning, although predictible for uninformed cop-apologist americans. I research, write and blog about cop criminality and misconduct DAILY. “America’s finest” are constantly being exposed as the “trained liars” that they are. Police fiction, er, police reports are often exposed as total self-exculpatory fabrications to cover the arses of illegal behavior committed by praetorians, as well as contrivances to enable arrest and conviction stats against innocents. Many jurisdictions even keep “Laurie Lists” . . . lists of lying cops who have been busted “testilying”, er, testifying in court, and fabricating “evidence” and are no longer allowed to do so because they have compromised so many cases.

    April 16th, 2014 8:06 am

  23. Brady

    Lowell, sorry, apologize was the wrong word. You said, “If Kaepernick were a gentleman, really a gentleman, his first tweeted words would have been about the apparent victim. He didn’t have to admit anything. Maybe there’s nothing to admit. He just needed to write words of care and empathy.”

    So I ask you again . . . should the Duke lacrosse team have issued words of care and empathy to their false accuser, rather than reject her claims?

    April 16th, 2014 9:11 am

  24. Dr. Feelgood

    Usually, stars get blasted for the things that they say. Now, Colin gets blasted for what he didn’t say. Probably better if he didn’t say anything- but, oh yeah, he would have gotten blasted for that as well.
    What was not considered was that Colin may have been responding to others “tweets” that attacked his character, his morals, his choices, etc,etc.
    On blogs, anyone can, and do, say anything we like about anyone. Where are the gracious apologies, the heartfelt “I’m Sorry’s”? Colin’s tweet reflects 2014 standard-operating-procedure.

    April 16th, 2014 10:28 am

  25. Brett

    rkshanny – Go back to your other blogs. And next time you you are in trouble and need help, for havens sake, please don’t call a cop.

    April 16th, 2014 1:42 pm

  26. Dave T

    I agree with you Lowell, as well as other Bay Area sportswriters who said something to the effect of his response falls woefully short of addressing the issue. Mr. Kaepernick, the man, the human being, needed to address the issues that are facing him with something far more direct than a “tweet” that basically says everything was just “made up” about him. Innocent until proven guilty most definitively, but a “tweet” that addresses nothing of substance in the matter painfully illustrates the sad state of affairs of the modern athlete.

    April 16th, 2014 2:24 pm

  27. kg

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, but….The Duke Lacrosse accuser was a stripper, that was invited to entertain the team in a private house…

    The unknown female in Colin Kaepernick’s issue was an friend that he had a sexual past with, in other word they were “friends with benefits.”

    What I don’t understand is if they were friends, why did Colin leave her naked in bed, with 2 other dudes in the other room, and why didn’t he explain to her personally how she woke up in the Hospital?!

    Finally, I agree with Lowell, especially if the unknown female & Colin were friends, he should have also considered her in his comments.

    April 16th, 2014 4:11 pm

  28. Brady

    kg – I agree that the situations are different. My point is merely this: if we don’t know what happened, we can’t know that she’s not just making something up. If she’s making something up, he should not be concerned about her.

    I’m only saying that it’s ridiculous for Lowell to try and tell Kaepernick the correct way to respond to a statement, the validity of which we literally know nothing about.

    April 16th, 2014 7:17 pm

  29. CohnZohn

    Brady, I said one way for him to respond was not to respond. He did not choose that way.

    April 16th, 2014 10:56 pm

  30. Brady

    Lowell – so, just to get this straight, if you’re accused of doing something heinous that you didn’t do, you shouldn’t make any effort to let people who care about you know that you’re innocent?

    April 17th, 2014 7:20 am

  31. Chris

    Nailed it! Good job, Lowell. Bravo!

    This is Kaepernick’s karma coming back at him, in that he is so very used to surly monosyllabic answers after games whenever he’s questioned, the media generally gives a free pass and sympathzie when he has lost a game or has only few words to express his admiration whenever his teammates are praised. Now, now that he has to answer questions to an event that is not all about him, we get see how narcissistically defensive he is. Priceless. I was already puzzled at his logic when reading his remark, “had I thrown the pass one foot farther … [the responsible cornerback] would have been the goat.

    April 22nd, 2014 10:40 am

  32. hacksaw

    I think a lot of the anti-Kaepernick comments fall under both “judging a book by its cover” and “everyone loves a winner”. Had Kaepernick won either the superbowl or that NFC championship game, he would be celebrated. Instead everyone loves Russell Wilson because he gives a great interview and he is a winner. But doesn’t everyone know two people, one who is rough around the edges but is a hones person you can trust, and another who is slick and impressive, who everyone likes instantly, but is not someone you have a lot of faith in? I don’t know RW is the second type, but he is divorcing his wife right before he gets a big payday, so he may fall into that category. Anyway, until CK actually does something wrong, I am ok with him not being a good public speaker and wearing the clothes and tattoos that he feels is himself.

    April 23rd, 2014 9:17 pm

  33. Stan

    To recap:

    If you come to Lowell’s home, get so intoxicated and behave so poorly that he has to call the police to remove you, and then you lodge a report against him, Lowell will immediately call a press conference, show up to it in his finest suit, and then express to the world his ” words of care and empathy” for you.

    He will definitely not address whether he did or did not do anything criminal or otherwise morally wrong — no matter how many celebrity gossip sites imply that he did — because that would be self-serving.

    Lowell won’t courtesy-check his bags on a flight (courtesy? for whom?), but he will definitely do everything that he says Kaepernick should have done, no matter how bad your behavior was in his home.

    April 25th, 2014 4:36 pm

  34. Stan

    Wow, Lowell. While this never really looked like your best work, it now seems to have been hastily written and — overall — pretty awful. You also seem pretty quiet about this topic now. I guess some people are only happy when it rains. It’s a shame.

    June 12th, 2014 8:20 pm

Submit Your Comments


Required, will not be published