Tag: San Francisco 49ers

Kaepernick for the Win: Arbitrator Sends His Collusion Case Against NFL to Full Hearing

Colin Kaepernick attends the 2017 ACLU SoCal’s Bill of Rights Dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Dec. 3, 2017. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

by Jon Becker and Jason Green via mercurynews.com

The NFL suffered a stunning blow Thursday when an arbitrator ruled that there is enough evidence in the grievance case of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to send it to a full hearing.

Arbitrator Stephen Burbank denied the NFL’s request for summary judgment and a dismissal of the case, an eye-opening ruling that allows Kaepernick’s collusion grievance against the league to continue. Burbank now will hold a full hearing, possibly before the end of the year, and issue a final ruling.

Kaepernick has been a polarizing figure since he began protesting social injustices by kneeling during the national anthem two years ago. Kaepernick’s representatives, led by celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, filed a suit against the league in October, contending that NFL teams and their owners have conspired to keep him from working in the league since he left the 49ers on March 2, 2017.

In fact, since Kaepernick opted out of his contract and became a free agent, more than 50 other quarterbacks have been signed to NFL deals, while a 30-year-old quarterback who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl five years ago has continued to wait for another chance.

49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said last year he knows why Kaepernick is still unemployed. “What is it about?” he said. “It’s not about football or color. It’s about, ‘Boy, stay in your place.’ ”

Burbank’s ruling now puts the image-conscious NFL under a bigger, more public microscope. NFL owners, coaches and executives will face more intense questioning and cross-examinations in the trial-like setting of a full arbitrator’s hearing than they did in depositions.

Some of the league’s heavy hitters already have been deposed in the case: Commissioner Roger Goodell, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, and Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh were all questioned with Kaepernick present.

Before a gag order was issued in the case, Goodell denied there was a concerted effort to keep Kaepernick sidelined. “Those are football decisions that each team has to make and what they think are the right ways to make their football teams better,” Goodell said.

In arguing to dismiss the case, the NFL contended that Kaepernick’s attorneys had not met the burden of proof stipulated by the collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players association.

The arbitrator’s ruling did not surprise Stanford law professor William Gould, but he said it does indicate Kaepernick has a substantial case. “You would anticipate that given the fact that there have been many depositions taken that there would be issues of fact here, which could possibly allow Kaepernick to prevail,” Gould said.

Gould added that Kaepernick’s legal team still faces real hurdles at the full hearing. “He will have to most likely through trial-like proceedings meet his burden, which is to show through a preponderance of evidence that collusion exists,” Gould said. “And it’s a tough burden in a case like this because the agreement explicitly says you can’t rely simply upon the fact that other players with dissimilar qualifications were picked by clubs for the vacancies that were available.

“We know that Jay Cutler was chosen by Miami,” he added. “He was booed out of Chicago. Surely Kaepernick was preferable to him, and I think that’s the case, but that alone will not carry the day for Kaepernick.”

Kaepernick, aside from holding Know Your Rights camps for inner-city youths, has maintained a low profile. When approached May 8 by this news organization following a workout with Reid at Cal State East Bay in Hayward, Kaepernick said: “We’re not doing interviews. We’re just here getting in a workout.”

Kaepernick won 28 of 58 games as the 49ers starter, first seizing that role during the 2012 season en route to a berth in Super Bowl XLVII, where the 49ers fell to the Ravens. He was 4-2 in playoff action.

Staff writer Cam Inman contributed to this report.

Read more: https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/08/30/arbitrator-agrees-with-kaepernick-his-case-against-nfl-going-to-trial/

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick Donates Shoe Collection to Bay Area Homeless Shelters

49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick (photo via thegrio.com)

article via thegrio.com

Colin Kaepernick is known for three things. His abilities as an NFL quarterback, his activism and his massive shoe collection. Now, he is taking steps to give back in a new way, by donating most of his shoe collection to Bay Area homeless shelters.

And Kaepernick didn’t just donate hundreds of pairs of shoes, he also donated clothing and books to both shelters and orphanages at the end of the last football season. Who says giving has to end when the holiday season does?

Source: Colin Kaepernick donates shoe collection to Bay Area homeless shelters | theGrio

Colin Kaepernick Pledges $1 Million Donation to Social and Racial Justice Charities

Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers signs autographs for fans after a 31-21 win over the San Diego Chargers on September 1, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

article by Natasha Alford via thegrio.com

In the midst of controversy over his protest of the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick is using the spotlight to address the issues he says inspired his stance.

At Thursday night’s preseason game against the San Diego Chargers, Kaepernick pledged a $1 million dollar donation to groups which address issues of racial and social inequality.

He didn’t offer specific details about which groups would receive donations but explained his intentions.–Veterans show support for football star with #VeteransForKaepernick tweets “I’ve been very blessed to be in this position and to be able to make the kind of money that I do and I have to help these people,’’ said Kaepernick. “I have to help these communities. It’s not right that they’re not put in the position to succeed or given those opportunities to success.’’

Kaepernick also recently joined forces with his girlfriend, Hot 97 radio personality Nessa Diab, to donate $60,000 worth of backpacks to students in Harlem and the South Bronx. As part of his six-year, $114,000,000 deal with the 49ers, Kaepernick’s base salary this year is $11.9 million dollars.

To read full article, go to: Colin Kaepernick pledges $1 million donation to charity for needy communities | theGrio

OPINION: Why Colin Kaepernick’s Sit Down May Be the Most Patriotic Stand of All

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick (photo via mmqb.si.com)
San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick (photo via mmqb.si.com)
by Julie Bibb Davis (@julieadelle)
by Julie Bibb Davis (@julieadelle)

Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, chose not to stand for the National Anthem at a recent pre-season football game.  Players are not required to stand under NFL rules, and Kaepernick was clear about his reasons to remain seated, stating ”I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”  Subsequently, he has given interviews about his decision, and the well-thought out reasons behind it.

While Kaepernick has seen some support, he has also faced enormous backlash for his decision – from pundits, from current and former NFL players, from the San Francisco Police Officers’ Association, and predictably, he has been skewered mercilessly on Twitter and in the online commentary sections of various websites.

Some of the online criticism has been of the typically jingoistic “my country – love it or leave it” or “my country – right or wrong” variety that tends to become prevalent when legitimate protest involves the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem.  And these types of criticism are particularly troubling, because they are designed to tell people “you can’t be a good American if you don’t honor this symbol in a particular way.”

I have spent the majority of my career working for the federal government.  I am proud to work in a building where the American flag flies, and where pictures of the President and Vice-President are in the lobby.  I understand the power and meaning of symbols.  And it precisely the power and meaning of symbols that makes protests involving them so resonant – and necessary.   I don’t know much about football, but I do know something about the First Amendment.  Kaepernick’s actions are fully-protected free speech, and the type of peaceful public protest that has been central to social justice movements.

And for those whose response to Kaepernick is “my country — right or wrong,” it’s time to look at the response to that quote by US Senator Carl Schurz in 1899.  Schurz decried the statement as “a deceptive cry of mock patriotism”, and went on to state that the “welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country — when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.’”

Kaepernick saw something he thought was wrong in his country.  Like generations of Americans before him, he engaged in a peaceful public protest to bring attention to that wrong, and to make a statement as to how it needed to be put right.  And for that he should not be vilified, but applauded.

Michelle Carter Earns Shot Put Gold for USA at Rio Olympics with Last Throw

U.S. Shot Put Gold Medalist Michelle Carter (photo via dailymail.co.uk)

article by Shekhar Bhatia via dailymail.co.uk

Michelle Carter, daughter of a former top American football player and Olympian, won the USA’s first-ever women’s shot put Olympic gold after a dramatic final twist.

The thirty-year-old Californian, whose father Michael Carter played for the San Francisco 49ers and won a silver in the shot put in the 1984 LA Olympics, struck gold with her final throw.

The American record holder gave everything as she hurled the shot 20.63 meters to snatch gold from New Zealand’s Valerie Adams. Bronze was secured by Anita Marton of Hungary.

To see more, go to: Michelle Carter wins shot putt gold for USA with last throw at Rio Olympics | Daily Mail Online

Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco 49ers Agrees to Six-Year Deal Worth Over $110 Million

Colin KaepernickColin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers struck a deal Wednesday on a six-year contract extension, which sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter is worth more than $110 million — including a record $61 million guaranteed.

The deal ties Kaepernick to the 49ers through the 2020 season and puts him among the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL. His signing bonus will be $12 million, sources told Schefter, unique in that most big contracts for quarterbacks are in the range of $24 million to $40 million. Kaepernick was scheduled to make $1.073 million this season.

When signing the contract, Kaepernick specifically requested that it allow the 49ers the flexibility to negotiate extensions with other players such as wide receiver Michael Crabtree. According to one source, Kaepernick specifically asked, “So this structure gives us room to try extensions with my teammates, right?” He was told yes.

“Colin’s hard work and dedication have played an integral role in the recent success of the 49ers organization,” general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “His work ethic, leadership and on-field production have positively influenced our team, and we look forward to his continued growth in all areas.”

Since taking over the starting job from Alex Smith midway through the 2011 season, Kaepernick led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl in 18 years after the 2012 season — losing by three points to Baltimore — and then to the NFC title game again last season, a three-point defeat to the Seattle Seahawks, the eventual Super Bowl champion.

The extension is expected to have strong implications for potential deals for Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and Alex Smith this year, along with those for Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson next year, when they are eligible to sign their first contract extensions.

A second-round draft pick out of Nevada in 2011, Kaepernick has thrived under former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh — and the coach has said how much he wants the mobile, strong-armed QB around for the long haul. Accomplishing an extension before the season is a big deal as the team begins its first year in $1.2 billion Levi’s Stadium at team headquarters.

“I really expect a real breakout year for Colin. Athletically, he looks bionic,” Harbaugh said during the organized team activity last week. “If you all remember ‘The Six Million Dollar Man,’ that’s what it looks like to me. He’s very gifted and he always has been. He has the look and feel of a guy who’s really going to break out, even more so than he already has. I’m really excited about everything about his game right now.”

More From ESPN Stats & Info

Colin Kaepernick’s extension through the 2020 season reportedly includes $61 million in guaranteed money, the most in any current NFL contract. Other Kaepernick observations:

  • Since his first start in Week 11 of 2012, he’s the third-highest-rated QB in the NFL with a Total QBR of 69.6 on the 0-100 scale, behind only Peyton Manning (83.3) and Aaron Rodgers (71.3).
  • According to Elias Sports Bureau, he is the sixth-youngest QB in NFL history to start multiple conference championship games. He’s started the last two, beating Atlanta in 2012 and losing to Seattle last season.
  • Including the playoffs, his record against the rival Seahawks is 1-3 with 3 TDs and 7 picks, and 20-5 with 35 TDs and 9 INTs vs. all other opponents.
  • Since his first start, he is tied for 4th in the league with 17 wins and ranks in the top 7 in both yards per pass attempt and yards per rush.
  • He completed 60.5 percent of his passes in the pocket last season, a steep regression from his first year as a starter in 2012 (65.7 percent).

In a sensational playoff debut in January 2013 against Green Bay, Kaepernick used his speed to run for a quarterback-playoff-record 181 yards and two touchdowns. Then, in a season-opening win against the Packers last September, he threw for a career-best 412 yards and three scores.

Continue reading “Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco 49ers Agrees to Six-Year Deal Worth Over $110 Million”

15 Football Honchos Who Are Standing With Michael Sam

Michael Sam

On Sunday, Michael Sam made headlines around the country when he came out as gay. If drafted, as projected, he will be the first openly gay player in the NFL.  While some people reacted poorly to the news, Sam has racked up plenty of support in the football world. See who’s standing with Sam below.

Dick Cass, Baltimore Ravens president

“We’re all about winning. If he’s a good football player who can help us win games, he will be welcomed here,” he said. “I’m disappointed it is such a big issue in 2014.”

John Elway, Denver Broncos executive

“I applaud Michael Sam and wish him the very best as he continues the pursuit of his NFL dream,” he told 7SPORTS. “We will evaluate Michael just like any other draft prospect — on the basis of his ability, character and NFL potential. His announcement will have no effect on how we see him as a football player.

John Mara and Steve Tisch, New York Giants co-owners

“Our sport, our game, is the ultimate meritocracy. You earn your way with your ability. As Patrick Burke and Wade Davis constantly remind all of us, regardless of who you are, what your background is and what your personal or sexual orientation is, if you can play, you can play. Michael’s announcement will not affect his position on our draft board,” said Mara.

“Michael Sam is a gifted athlete and a courageous man,” Tisch said. “I hope any NFL team would not hesitate to draft Michael if he is right for their team. Our game is the ultimate team game, and we often talk about how a team is a family. Regardless of where you are from, what your religious beliefs are, what your sexual orientation is, if you are good enough to be on the team, you are part of the family.

Robert Kraft, Patriots owner

“We’re about winning,” Kraft told the Boston Herald. “And anyone who can come in here and help us win, I personally don’t care what their ethnic background is, their racial background, the gender preference. If they can help us win, and they’re about team first, then I’m happy to have him here… I think it’s good for America.

Continue reading “15 Football Honchos Who Are Standing With Michael Sam”

Kerry Washington Marries Pro Football Player Nnamdi Asomugha

Nnamdi Asomugha, Kerry Washington

Not exactly a Scandal, but this is certainly a surprise!  Kerry Washington married San Francisco 49ers cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on June 24 in Blaine County, Idaho, E! News exclusively confirms.  According to sports gossip site TerezOwens.com, which was first to get wind of the happy news, Asomugha has been dating Vanity Fair‘s August 2013 cover girl since last summer. 

The 31-year-old three-time Pro Bowl star played with the Oakland Raiders, who drafted him following his graduation from UC Berkeley in 2003, for eight seasons and the Philadelphia Eagles for two before signing with the 49ers in April. The bookish athlete is no stranger to showbiz, either, having scored acting gigs on The GameFriday Night Lights and Leverage in recent years.

Like his bride, Asomugha is also a dedicated activist and philanthropist and  he has participated in the Clinton Global Initiative every year since 2009. This is the first marriage for Washington, 36, who went from generally lovely actress to mega-star over the past year thanks to her breakout roles playing not-to-be-messed-with political fixer Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal and Jamie Foxx‘s enslaved wife Broomhilda von Shaft in Django Unchained.

Continue reading “Kerry Washington Marries Pro Football Player Nnamdi Asomugha”

Ray Lewis Ends Brilliant NFL Career with Super Bowl Championship

Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates on the field afte the Ravens won 34-31 against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates on the field afte the Ravens won 34-31 against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Before he could bask in a shower of confetti, before he could put his fingerprints on the Lombardi Trophy and before he could head into retirement as a champion, Ray Lewis had one final task: stop the San Francisco 49ers on three plays 5 yards from the end zone.

After two passes went awry, Lewis charged up the middle on a blitz. The Ravens stellar linebacker never made it to Colin Kaepernick, but after the quarterback’s pass flew out of bounds, Lewis and Baltimore could begin to celebrate.  “How could it end any other way than that?” Lewis said. “And now I get to ride into the sunset with my second ring.”

Continue reading “Ray Lewis Ends Brilliant NFL Career with Super Bowl Championship”

Colin Kaepernick Record: 49ers’ Quarterback Sets NFL Playoff QB Rushing Record

Colin Kaepernick

SAN FRANCISCO — Colin Kaepernick has set an NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a playoff game.

Kaepernick broke Michael Vick’s mark of 119 yards with a 56-yard keeper on an option play in the third quarter of Saturday night’s playoff game against Green Bay. The run gave Kaepernick 163 yards on 12 carries, setting a 49ers franchise record for the postseason. Vick set his record for Atlanta in a 47-17 win over St. Louis on Jan. 15, 2005.

Kaepernick earlier scored on a 20-yard run and also threw two touchdown passes in the first half. He joined Chicago’s Jay Cutler and Cleveland’s Otto Graham as the only players to throw two TD passes and run for two TDs in a playoff game. Graham did it twice.

article by Associated Press via huffingtonpost.com