Colin Kaepernick played for head coach Chris Ault at Nevada from 2007 to 2010.
On Monday, Ault provided the following letter to the Reno Gazette-Journal:
Kap has brought some undue attention to himself regarding a personal interest. Being his former college coach, I’ve been inundated with calls, text and, of course, many suggestions. It’s for that reason I felt compelled to provide a short response to the firestorm he’s created.
I have no problem with Kap using his celebrity to champion or protest a cause for oppressed people of color. Prejudice unfortunately does still exist in our country. Although it’s a sword with two edges, it certainly deserves all the attention we can give it in order to rid all Americans of this terrible injustice.
However, Kap using an NFL game as his platform to show the importance of his cause was selfish. Not standing up for an American treasure such as the National Anthem is disrespectful and clearly has shortchanged the essence of his message because the attention of an uneasy America is on him, not the cause he values.
I think there are better venues to express those interests and his ultimate message. You never lead by sitting down – during the national anthem or anywhere – so for me it’s not the message that’s troubling, it’s the platform and the way it was delivered.
Kap is too young and talented to get written off and I worry an act like this could have a negative impact on him and his career. He’s a great young man. Guys like him can make a difference, but it’s just a lot easier to make that point when you’re excelling on the field.
I’m hoping that the vicious competitor I know steps up and becomes a difference-maker for all his endeavors – on and off the field.
Jim Harbaugh and Richard Sherman both disagree with Kaepernick's method of expressing his beliefs.
On Sunday, Kaepernick told reporters that he will continue to sit during the national anthem.