Jim Harbaugh walks back critical remarks on Kaepernick

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh weighed in Monday on his former player, Colin Kaepernick, with regard to the San Francisco 49ers quarterback's decision not to stand during the National Anthem, which came to light following Friday's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.

And less than an hour later, he revised his remarks via Twitter.

"I acknowledge his right to do that, but I don't respect the motivation or the action," Harbaugh first said during his Monday news conference, per the MLive Media Group. The Wolverines coach followed later with a different sentiment:

Kaepernick told NFL Media's Steve Wyche his decision was based on racial injustice in America, and the 49ers veteran has come under criticism since Friday. Players held a team meeting Sunday, during which several players spoke, per Wyche, including Kaepernick.

"I'll continue to sit. I'm going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed," Kaepernick said during an 18-minute interview session with reporters Sunday. "To me, this is something that has to change. When there's significant change, and I feel like that flag represents what it's supposed to represent and this country is representing people the way that it's supposed to, I'll stand."

Harbaugh coached the Niners for four seasons until 2014, and Kaepernick joined the franchise as a rookie in 2011 -- he was chosen No. 36 overall in Harbaugh's first draft as coach. Kaepernick played his best football as a pro under Harbaugh, helping the club to back-to-back NFC Championship Game appearances in 2012 and 2013.

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, like his brother Jim, recognized Kaepernick's right to sit during the National Anthem.

"Voltaire so eloquently stated, 'I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend it until death your right to say it,'" John Harbaugh said, per ESPN. "That's a principle that our country is founded on. I don't think you cannot deny someone the right to speak out or mock or make fun or belittle anybody else's opinion."

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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