If you were shocked to see headlines about Colin Kaepernick going on record about abandoning his peaceful protests to get back into the NFL, those reports likely weren’t true. While a March report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter cited unnamed sources as saying Kaep would likely stand during the anthem if signed during the 2017-2018 season, Sunday’s reports were wholly different.
Things began with a segment from NFL on CBS featuring James Brown discussing a talk Jason La Canfora reportedly had with Kaepernick Saturday. It’s unclear if La Canfora slipped up and misspoke or if CBS and other multiple outlets just ran wild with his story.
“Colin is all about changing the world, and the fact that more people seem to be aware of social injustice and doing things about it, he’s all in favor of,” La Canfora said, during an exchange which takes place at the 2:07 mark of the video above.
Brown then asked La Canfora specifically about Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem.
“He’s not planning on kneeling,” La Canfora said. “He’s gonna donate all his jersey sales, and he’s planning on standing for the anthem if given the opportunity.”
This wasn’t anything different from Schefter’s report. However, whether intentionally or unintentionally the segment was framed in a way that implied Kaepernick directly addressed the issue of continuing his protests and that he was doing so—in addition to a rigorous practice routine—in hopes of being signed by an NFL team.
The timing was also curious, given that the Tennessee Titans recently signed Brandon Weeden, a quarterback much less accomplished than Kaepernick.
Once Twitter went ablaze with Associated Press and ABC News reports that Kaepernick would stand for the anthem, La Canfora clarified that Kaepernick did not directly address standing for the anthem during their conversation.
Wanted to clarify one thing regarding @Kaepernick7. When I was asked about his whether or not he would sit or stand for anthem ...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 8, 2017
Standing for Anthem wasn't something that I spoke to Colin about sat. I relayed what had been reported about him standing in the future...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 8, 2017
Reports about @Kaepernick7 standing for anthem had not been refuted. However, I cant say if they are true or not. Colin and I didn't discuss— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 8, 2017
Colin would have to address any future demonstrations. I didn't ask him if he would sit or stand. Our chat primarily about his will to play— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 8, 2017
I know @Kaepernick7 is fully committed to playing football and helping those in need. What he would do during the Anthem I do not know— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 8, 2017
“Standing for Anthem wasn’t something that I spoke to Colin about sat,” La Canfora tweeted in a brief thread after the Kaepernick story began picking up steam. “I relayed what had been reported about him standing in the future...”
La Canfora added that he didn’t ask Kaepernick if he would sit or stand and that the discussion was “primarily about his will to play.”
So it appears this non-news really only yields one question. If you’re one of the few reporters who manage to get an audience with the man who has captured the attention of the sports world by protesting about the injustices facing people of color, why wouldn’t you directly ask him about the form of protest?