Well, these sure are the dog days as proven by the controversy that surfaced earlier this week regarding San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick and a hat. That’s right a hat.
The 49er QB was photographed at a July 4th party sporting a Miami Dolphins hat. Fans immediately showed their displeasure over this fashion choice via twitter which prompted Kaepernick to respond with a picture of him holding up the hat and saying “This is the hat y’all mad at?”
Now I can see both arguments in this instance as being quite logical. On one hand, Kaepernick is the face of the franchise. One that has Superbowl aspirations. It has to register in his mind somehow that wearing another teams hat will cause some sort of friction with the fans or with the organization. Why even risk it? It’s a nice hat, sure but is it worth all the trouble he is now receiving? The franchise has clearly been handed over to him so whether he likes it or not, he is going to be judged on everything he does. Kaepernick is arguably one of the more popular NFL stars so his actions are going to be magnified significantly.
On the other hand, it’s just a hat who cares? Kaepernick took the 49ers to the Superbowl last year and was within a few yards of holding up the Lombardi trophy. His teammates don’t seem to have a problem with it so why should anyone else. His effort, work ethic or commitment to the team has never been an issue so his fashion statement shouldn’t put his loyalty into question.
ESPN’s Herman Edwards asked if Joe Montana or Steve Young would ever wear a another teams hat. Although that would be difficult to imagine, it has to be understood that this is a different era with the rise of social media. Today’s athletes are in the public eye a lot more than they were when Young and Montana played.
Bottom line, Kaepernick’s responses (specifically saying that he will wear whatever he wants) showed a little immaturity. Given the level of success in the short amount of time, it’s quite understandable. Whatever hat he wears, or pants or shoes won’t matter when the season starts however and in the end Kaepernick will only be judged on wins and losses.