They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but the San Francisco 49ers are likely rethinking that notion lately.
It all started last Friday when TV cameras noticed quarterback Colin Kapenerick sitting during the national anthem. When asked by reporters about it, he answered that “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Other than the not standing up for the anthem, Kaepernick’s words are nothing new. They are a bit confusing given that Kaepernick doesn’t seem to have a problem cashing paychecks from the sport of the country that is doing the oppressing. Nowhere in his protest is Kaepernick refusing payment for throwing a pigskin ball around.
What: San Francisco 49ers at San Diego Chargers, Thursday, September 1, 10 p.m. ET, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA.
Last Week/Next Week
The San Francisco 49ers lost to the Green Bay Packers 21-10 last week. They will host the Los Angeles Rams in the Rams’ return to the NFL next week on Monday, September 12 at 10:20 p.m. ET. The San Diego Chargers lost to the Minnesota Vikings 23-10 last week to drop to 1-2 in the preseason. The Chargers are at the Kansas City Chiefs at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 11 for the regular season opener.
San Diego Chargers Preview
Joey Bosa practiced for the first time as a member of the San Diego Chargers on Tuesday. The only unsigned pick in the entire NFL draft, Bosa inked a four-year deal on Monday. It ended a 31-day holdout.
Bosa’s teammates showed no ill will according to the Ohio State stud defender.
“It means a lot that they’re all welcoming me back with open arms like that,” Bosa said. “They all understand the business of the NFL and why I wasn’t here. So there’s no bad blood between any one of us, and they’re just excited to have me out here, and I’m excited to be out here.”
Bosa had rejected the Chargers’ best offer a week ago, prompting the team to go hardcore and pull the offer completely. A few days later, Bosa signed. Chalk one up for management.
“It’s was nice, actually getting to run some plays,” Bosa said. “It’s just going to take a little bit of time to get back into a rhythm of things and get all of the plays. I still haven’t put pads on, so I’m sure that’s going to be the hardest thing to get adjusted to.”
The Chargers got a first look at the new home of the Minnesota Vikings last weekend and fell 23-10. San Diego led 10-6 late in the second quarter thanks to a 39-yard Melvin Gordon run and 32-yard Josh Lambo field goal. The Vikings scored the next 17 points of the game. Kellen Clemens completed 9 of 15 passes for 77 yards and in doing so got himself a roster spot. The Chargers then cut Zach Mettenberger.
San Francisco 49ers Preview
On top of the Kaepernick controversy was the fact that the 49ers’ quarterbacks as a hole played horribly in the loss to Green Bay. Kaepernick was 2 of 6 for 14 yard. Blaine Gabbert was 2 of 3 for 14 yards. Jeff Driskel had the “best” performance – completing 4 of 8 passes for 43 yards and getting sacked once. Christian Ponder was the worst, going just 1 of 3 for 11 yards, with an interception and two sacks. Those kind of performances will ensure that no one cares if Kaepnerick is standing up, sitting down, or fast asleep during the national anthem because no one will show up to the game.
The performances left first-year head coach Chip Kelley undecided on who to start at quarterback when the regular season opens.
“You’re never going to make any decisions walking off the field,” Kelly said. “We’ll sit down as a staff and see where we are.”
The Niners did get some good news in the return to action of Carlos Hyde, who rushed four times for 30 yards. The bulk of that came on a 27-yard sprint, the longest run by either team during the game.
San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers Predictions
One thing’s for sure, this game will have way more media coverage than it should, and more cameras will be pointed at Kaepernick at one time than since the Super Bowl five years ago. Neither squad is capable of challenging in its own division this year, but at least they’ll get some SportsCenter time for this one.
Score Prediction: San Diego Chargers 19, San Francisco 49ers 13