ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan Wolverines football coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t mince words when asked Monday about the recent protest made by his former quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.
“I acknowledge his right to do that. I don’t respect the motivation or the action,” said Harbaugh, who coached Kaepernick with the San Francisco 49ers.
Harbaugh looked to clarify his comments in a tweet later Monday.
Kaepernick remained seated while the national anthem played prior to the 49ers’ preseason game Friday against the Green Bay Packers. After the game, he told reporters he sat because he didn’t want to show pride in a country that oppresses people of color.
“To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” Kaepernick told reporters. “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
“We talk about the national anthem each and every year prior to our first preseason game and how we conduct ourselves during the national anthem,” McCarthy said. “But I think when you do get to a situation where there are social issues, I think everybody – players and coaches alike – feel there is a responsibility to stand up for that. With that, that’s where the communication between you and your football team takes place, and you respect each and every man for where they came from and who they are.
“With that, it’s more about not what they stand up for but really when. And I think those are the types of things that you work through.”
After Saturday’s game he let a little of that show. Asked if he thought he would be named starter, Siemian said: “I feel confident. Ultimately it’s up to [Kubiak], it’s a better question for him.’’
Asked if he believed he had done enough to be the starter, Siemian said: “I do, but again that’s not my call. I’ll just try to be the best teammate I can be.’’
Turns out the kid was right.
On what was a day off for many of his teammates, Berry bumped into Alex Smith and some of the other quarterbacks, and they greeted each other warmly. He sat in the office of the head coach and talked with Andy Reid about what they would try to accomplish this season.
It was time for Berry, the Chiefs’ franchise player, to get back to work after skipping all of the offseason practice sessions and training camp in protest. So he did. Berry signed the Chiefs’ one-year contract worth about $10.8 million and put aside thoughts of anything but football.
“Everybody in this building knows me,’’ Berry said Monday, shortly before practicing for the first time. “I’m about business. I’m going to handle business like a professional. Aside from that, I’m going to give you everything I’ve got on every snap. Whatever happened in the offseason, that’s the offseason.
“That’s in my DNA. I can’t change that.’’
Berry will be available to help the Chiefs through that process from this point forward. That was always part of his plan. Football and the Chiefs mean too much to Berry for him to miss games and practices when they really count.