Former Nevada coach Chris Ault, who recruited and coached Colin Kaepernick at the school from 2006-2010, was critical of his former quarterback on Monday.
In a letter to the Reno Gazette-Journal, Ault wrote that Kaepernick's decision not to stand for the playing of the national anthem was "selfish." Kaepernick has not stood for the national anthem during the Niners' three preseason games this summer. He told NFL Media's Steve Wyche his decision was based on racial injustice in America, and the Niners veteran has come under criticism since Friday, when his decision came to light following a preseason game against the Packers. Niners players held a team meeting Sunday and several players spoke during the meeting, per Wyche, including Kaepernick.
Ault's letter read in part:
"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."
Ault's letter was published on the same day that another of Kaepernick's former coaches, Jim Harbaugh, using far fewer words, said he disagreed with Kaepernick's action.