A CBS Sports reporter backed away from his claims that NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick told him that he would stand for the national anthem if signed to an NFL team.
CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora, who spent time with Kaepernick this week, said the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback told him that he was constantly working out in hopes of being signed to an NFL team and that if he was signed, he would stand for the anthem.
“He’s not planning on kneeling, he's gonna donate all his jersey sales, and he’s planning on standing for the anthem, if given the opportunity,” La Canfora said on Sunday afternoon.
La Canfora later backed away from those claims, saying in a series of tweets that he and Kaepernick hadn’t discussed whether he would continue kneeling during the national anthem if he was signed to a team.
Standing for Anthem wasn't something that I spoke to Colin about sat. I relayed what had been reported about him standing in the future...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 8, 2017
Reports about @Kaepernick7 standing for anthem had not been refuted. However, I cant say if they are true or not. Colin and I didn't discuss— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 8, 2017
"Colin would have to address any future demonstrations. I didn't ask him if he would sit or stand. Our chat primarily about his will to play," La Canfora added.
His comments come after Kaepernick appeared to call the report “a lie” in a tweet Sunday and shared tweets disputing the report.
Kaepernick’s girlfriend, radio host Nessa Diab, also refuted the report in a tweet Sunday afternoon.
“The reports that Colin will stand for the anthem are completely false! He has never discussed this with anyone,” she wrote.
The reports that Colin will stand for the anthem are completely false! He has never discussed this with anyone. pic.twitter.com/tWusUBJMeF— NESSA (@nessnitty) October 8, 2017
Kaepernick was the first NFL player to begin kneeling during the national anthem last season. The quarterback took a knee in protest of police brutality and the mistreatment of minorities in America. Other players later joined him in kneeling or raising a fist during the anthem.
President Trump has attacked Kaepernick for kneeling, suggesting that he was still a free agent because he didn’t stand.
At a rally in Alabama last month, Trump suggested that NFL owners should fire players who take a knee during the anthem and referred to any player who engages in such protest as a “son of a bitch.”
Those comments led to widespread protests throughout the NFL, with dozens of players kneeling as the anthem played, and several owners joining their players on the field in solidarity.
— This story was updated at 4:33 p.m.