Colin Kaepernick named honorary captain for Michigan spring football game

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who in more recent years has been known for social activism and his stance on racial injustice, will be back on the football field this weekend.

Kaepernick is the honorary captain of Michigan’s spring football game on Saturday at Michigan Stadium, the program announced Wednesday on Twitter.

Three photos were included in the post, one of Kaepernick holding a No. 7 Michigan jersey with his name, another of him posing with returning starting quarterback Cade McNamara, and another of him speaking to the team.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh coached Kaepernick at the San Francisco 49ers during his coaching tenure, 2011-2014. Kaepernick helped lead the 49ers to the 2013 Super Bowl.

Harbaugh took over the Wolverines in 2015, and Kaepernick hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL since 2016. In an interview with Rich Eisen two years ago, Harbaugh said he and Kaepernick communicate every few weeks.

During the 2016 NFL season, Kaepernick sparked controversy and conversation across the county with his decision to kneel during the national anthem performed before games. In August, 2016, Harbaugh was asked his opinion of Kaepernick kneeling during the first three preseason games that season.

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick participates in a workout for NFL football scouts and media.

“I acknowledge his right to do that,” Harbaugh said at the time. “But I don't respect the motivation or the action.”

Not long after making the comment, Harbaugh took to Twitter to offer a clarification.

“I apologize for misspeaking my true sentiments,” he wrote. “To clarify, I support Colin's motivation. It's his method of action that I take exception to.”

Harbaugh, in an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2017, said he had taken more time to listen to Kaepernick and understand why he chose to kneel.

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“When you really stop and listen and know where Colin is coming from … he’s trying to do this for his future kids, for my kids, for all of our kids,” Harbaugh told Sports Illustrated. “He’s a special person and a hero, in my opinion.”

Twitter: @chengelis

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