Colin Kaepernick has officially been given the chance to become the next face of the San Francisco 49ers, and so far he has answered the call. There has been little to criticize Kaepernick for in his first two NFL starts, both of which were convincing wins. While it would be difficult to criticize him for his play, one writer felt the need to bash him for something totally unrelated to his accuracy or decision-making — his tattoos.
David Whitley of AOL FanHouse wrote an article earlier this week in which he ripped Kaepernick for having tattoos on his arms that are visible during play. The overall message of the piece was summed up nicely with these two sentences.
NFL quarterback is the ultimate position of influence and responsibility. He is the CEO of a high-profile organization, and you don’t want your CEO to look like he just got paroled.
For what it’s worth, Kaepernick’s tattoos are of bible verses. Colin’s parents, Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, spoke with USA TODAY Sports about Whitley’s decision to compare their son to a prison inmate just because of the artwork on his arms.
“It annoyed me,” Teresa Kaepernick said. “You are categorizing this kid on something like tattoos? Really? Saying other guys are role models because they don’t have them? Really? Some of these other guys don’t have crystal clear reputations. That’s how you’re going to define this kid? It’s pretty irritating, but it is what it is.”
Whitley mentioned the Manning brothers as a duo of NFL role models who parents can point to when their children say they want a tattoo. After all, only bad people get tattoos! He also mentioned Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richard’s comments about Cam Newton and tattoos.
“This guy has probably never talked to Colin,” Rick Kaepernick said. “Instead of saying that Colin does all these great things and donates his time to children, this guy is going to make him out like a gangster. Really? I guess you just have to roll with the punches.
“Somebody asked me if I got mad about that. I said no. It’s just a guy and his opinion. I could have an opinion about him, but I’ve never met the guy, so I don’t know if my opinion would be right.”
Kaepernick is a polite young man who was a 4.0 GPA student in high school and has never been in any sort of significant trouble. Whitley praised his athletic ability and said he expects Colin to one day raise the Vince Lombardi trophy, asking readers to “imagine the impact” a quarterback with tattoo-covered arms raising the NFL’s most coveted trophy would have.
What impact is that? Everyone is certainly entitled their own opinion, but here we have a perfect example of why some of those opinions are best kept to oneself.
H/T Around the League
Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE