Chip Kelly Shuts Down Reporter Questioning Colin Kaepernick's Protest

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: Head coach Chip Kelly of the San Francisco 49ers on the sidelines during a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on September 1, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Chip Kelly Shuts Down Reporter Questioning Colin Kaepernick's Protest

NFL

Chip Kelly Shuts Down Reporter Questioning Colin Kaepernick's Protest

Chip Kelly has stood behind Colin Kapernick’s right to protest the national anthem since the beginning, and on Thursday the San Francisco 49ers head coach did so again.

Lowell Cohn, a sports writer for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, has been questioning Kaepernick’s protest for weeks. During Thursday’s press session with Kelly, Cohn asked pointed questions about the protest and how the coach feels about it. Kelly repeatedly said he believed Kaepernick was addressing a legitimate issue and that his protest hasn’t interfered with the football team or Kaepernick’s duties at all.

But here’s where things got strained and Kelly basically shut Cohn down:

Here’s the full exchange:

Cohn: “How do you feel when he takes over the locker room and he talks about his concerns? Which are valid and important. I think specifically about after the Rams win, when you beat the Rams, and he was talking about injustice in America and I believe some of the players were uncomfortable with that. How do you feel when he takes over the room?”

Kelly: “I don’t think Colin takes over any room. I think–

Cohn: “Oh he did after the Rams game.”

Kelly: “I can give you my opinion of what I think. I think he’s asked questions about a subject and he’s answering those questions.”

Cohn: “He should turn down — he should say, ‘Talk to me at another time.’ I was in the room. Were you in the room at that time?”

Kelly: “Yeah, I walked by in the locker room. I’m in the locker room.”

Cohn: “Anyways, so we disagree on if he took over the room. Do you think it’s appropriate that he should be talking about those things after a win?”

Kelly: “Yeah, I do. When he’s asked a question, I think he should answer what his feelings are on those questions. If you don’t believe that’s a thing then maybe you shouldn’t ask him those questions.”

Cohn: I didn’t ask him those questions.”

Kelly: “OK.”

Cohn: “We have a fundamental disagreement then.”

Kelly: “That’s the great part–thing about this country, isn’t it?”

Cohn: “Absolutely.”

Kelly: “Awesome.”

I’m not sure what Cohn is going for here. He basically suggests that Kaepernick should decline to answer questions from the press about his protest in the locker room and especially after a win. That’s such a nonsensical stance I can’t even wrap my head around it. If Kaepernick didn’t answer questions, we all know guys like Cohn would blast him for not standing up for himself or answering for his protest. He just comes across as an old dude looking for something to complain about.

Agree or disagree with Kaepernick all you want, but if the guy is showing up to work, doing his job and not letting it distract him or his teammates from actual game prep, then what’s the problem? His teammates don’t seem bothered by it and his coach is standing behind him. So basically there’s no controversy here and Cohn is trying to create one out of thin air. Nice try Lowell.

Good for Chip Kelly for standing by his player and shutting down this buffoon.

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