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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.